I'm sorry. I really tried to not care about the reggae award in the grammies. Maybe it's because I'm smarting from the fact that Billboard has abandoned the reggae chart entirely and shifted it's attention to the much more polite Afro Beats. Maybe it's because I'm not so into what I'd call Jamaican/Caribbean Trap Music. Whatever the case, I can't let go of this. I know the grammies really don't mean much in the grand scheme of things, and I should just let it go since it was probably a huge number of white guys that voted for SOJA anyways. But I am a white guy and I grew up with the grammies so I'm sorry if I hold on to this.
It boggles my mind that a somewhat poppy and hippy kind of white reggae group can take away the grammy from two strong, talented and innovative black REGGAE artists? Is this all because people are having a hard time with visas? Have these jurors ever actually listened to a Spice album or an Etana album? Are they intimidated by political statements like "Po Po"? Have they followed either one of Spice's or Etana's careers? I have to call foul....and yes there is something clearly racist going on. I have heard the cries from Jamaica of people saying negative things about artists and how no one listens to reggae and dancehall (non trap) anymore. Even if all that were deeply true, that doesn't explain what happened. I don't want to pile it on SOJA...they do what they do. I don't know if I'd call it "happy reggae" or "reggae for white people who are afraid of Bounty Killer and Beenie Man". I might even call it reggae music with white lyrics and themes. And why shouldn't it be? That's who they are/. However when you are presented with an award at the expense of the indivduals representing the nation that CREATED reggae, and are doing it in strongly innovative and yet traditional ways. And then there's the whole history of black music being whitewashed from Elvis ("was a hero to most but he never meant shit to me") on down. Jesus man do something better than thank Jamaica! Give something back! Give the award back! Recognize the wit and beauty of the culture and the artists TRULY representing it. I know Chronixx said at least they gave up and coming artists a job, but Wal Mart isn't getting awards for employer of the year just because they're providing jobs. That excuse just does not fly. If anything it just LOOKS bad all around. SO SOJA just because you put Jah in your name doesn't make you Jamaican. And just because the majority of Jamaicans are accepting of white people and all their foibles and racism because they are mostly tolerant of all races this hasn't blown up to the level it should. Please do something. Donate money... Share a portion of your earnings directly to Jamaica. Do a concert and donate it all to ghetto youth. At least acknowledge the talent of those stepped over and the racism of the grammies. I'm not asking for too much "wokeness" but I am asking for a little justice. In my opinion, and not to disparage the other contestants, Spice was the clear winner. If for nothing else for her consistently putting out strong, interesting music that has challenged and embraced what it means to be a female in dancehall culture. She is a role model for girls everywhere. And if you can't tolerate her dancehall queen no apologies sexuality, you need to go back to 1950. When you put her against SOJA, in my mind there is no question who the superior ARTIST is. So maybe this is not just a tale about race but about feminism as well. I've ranted enough for one day. Please SOJA. It's not too late!