British supermodel, actress and businesswoman, Naomi Campbell has faulted the Recording Academy for categorizing Afrobeats into the ‘world music’ category in the just concluded 2020 Grammys, saying the Afrobeats sound is a musical genre played on mainstream and primetime radio not only across the continent of Africa but across the world.
She said the Afrobeats Genre should be created separately and away from the so called ‘world music’ category, while also calling for the Recording Academy to educate itself on these issues.
Naomi Campbell just like millions of Afrobeats fans around the world had expected Burna Boy to win the ‘World Music’ category that had people such as GECE Altin Gün, Jules Buckley, Spektral Quartet CELIA ,Angelique Kidjo. But unfortunately, the Grammy award for that category was given to Veteran singer, Angelique Kidjo.
The decision by the Recording Academy to award Angelique Kidjo and not Burna Boy the award has led millions of fans across the world to question the criteria used by the Recording Academy to pick their winner for the category.
This and many more, Naomi Campbell highlighted in her short note to the Recording Academy.
Naomi Campbell took to her social media page on Tuesday, to share her take on this year’s Grammy award ceremony hosted by Alicia Keys.
She started up by congratulating Angelique Kidjo for her win, then Burna Boy for the amount of work he has put into the AFRICAN GIANT album to deserve the award. She started up by saying:
“First, I want to say deepest congratulations to @angeliquekidjo for her award on Sunday and thank you to you for spreading light and opening minds through your music… •
And to our AFRICAN GIANT, @burnaboygram… it is only due to lack of education that you have not been honoured with the accolades you so truly deserve. You are always a winner in our hearts. ALWAYS. •
And to The @RecordingAcademy, There is something that brings joy, strength and happiness to myself, and to so many people that hear it, and it is called Afrobeats. Afrobeats is a musical genre played on mainstream and primetime radio not only across the continent of Africa but across the world… •
Recently, the genre was categorized into your ‘World Music’ category at the 2020 Grammys. This misrepresentation diminishes an entire genre in which such a high standard of talent has emerged; a genre that has been a force of hope and positivity for many, and a vehicle for artistry on the continent of Africa. •
Please take the next 363 days to reassess and reflect on your perspective of ‘World Music.’ Did the world get to vote for this award, or was it only the people in the United States a part of The Recording Academy? What will this neglectful categorization of music mean to individual cultures? Cultures who contribute their blood, sweat and tears, and every level of their creativity and work ethic into making music for YOU and for all of us. •
Please get up to speed on the state of all popular music today, and include Afrobeats Artist of the Year, Song of the Year, Album of the Year and all the subcategories that this genre so deserves – just as any other respected and recognized musical genre. •
This is bigger than you, so open your eyes, ears and minds and treat us right and with the respect we deserve. ❤️💛💚❤️💛💚 #ForTheCulture #NAOMIAFRICA #grammys” she said.
While a lot of people have praised her for speaking up, she is actually will not be the first person to speak up against the Recording Academy and how these awards have been organised, especially the different categories.
The likes of Tyler the Creator also spoke about how the Recording Academy has hidden under some categories to give out awards just for the sake of it, as he slammed Grammys’ ‘urban’ category as a politically correct version of the n-word.
The 28-year-old musician, who took home the award for Best Rap Album for his 2019 record “IGOR” on Sunday night, criticized the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences for consistently placing “guys that look like me” in the rap and urban categories.
Tyler spoke frankly backstage when asked about the voting process for the awards. He admitted that while he was “very grateful” for his win, the categorizing of his music as rap is a “backhanded compliment.”
“It sucks that whenever we — and I mean guys that look like me — do anything that’s genre-bending or that’s anything they always put it in rap or urban category. I don’t like that ‘urban’ word — it’s just a politically correct way to say the n-word to me,” he said.
The prolific producer and vocalist also called out the Grammys for their treatment of black artists, adding that he would love to be recognized on a more mainstream level and not forever pigeonholed in “urban” categories.
Burna Boy who was disappointed for not winning the Grammy on his first nomination, has since congratulated Angelique Kidjo on her win, but promise to be back strong and better. He said this after the woman from the Benin Republic dedicated her win to him and for his contribution to African sounds.