Diddy was honored by his Bad Boy Records family last night at Clive Davis’ annual pre-Grammy party, and he used his acceptance speech as a platform to motivate everyone in the room to demand respect and recognition from the Recording Academy…and they only have 365 days to do so.
The entertainment mogul gave a 50-minute speech and addressed “the elephant in the room”, discrimination in the industry. “I say this with love to the Grammys because you really need to know this. Every year, y’all be killing us man. I’m talking about the pain. I’m speaking for all the artists here, producers and executives – the amount of time to make these records, to pour your heart out into it… in the great words of Erykah Badu, ‘We are artists and we’re sensitive about our s–t. We are passionate.’”
Then, Diddy set it off! “For most of us, this is all we’ve got. It’s our only hope. Truth be told hip hop has never been respected by the Grammys. Black music has never been respected by the Grammys to the point that it should be,” he said.
“So, right now, in this current situation, it’s not a revelation. This thing been going on and it’s not just going on in music. It’s going on in film. It’s going on in sports, It’s going on around the world. And for years, we’ve allowed institutions, that have never had our best interest at heart, to judge us. And that stops right now.”
“Y’all got 365 days to get this s–t together,” Diddy continued. “We need the artists to take back control. We need transparency. We need diversity. This is the room that has the power to make the change. It needs to be made. They have to make the changes for us. They’re a nonprofit organization that’s supposed to protect the welfare of the musical community. That’s what it says on the mission statement. That’s the truth. They work for us.”
Diddy concludes his speech acknowledging iconic albums from black artists that the academy never rightfully recognized. “My goal used to be about making hit records, but now it’s about assuring that the culture moves forward, my culture. Our culture. The black future,” he said.
“And for me to be worthy of receiving an icon award, I have to use my experience to help make a change. And on that note… y’all got 365 days. And I want to dedicate this award to Michael Jackson for ‘Off the Wall,’ Prince for ‘1999,’ Beyoncé for ‘Lemonade,’ Missy Elliott for ‘Da Real World,’ Snoop Dogg for ‘Doggy Style,’ Kanye West for ‘Graduation’ and Nas for ‘Illmatic.’”
Way to use your platform to continue making change, Diddy! Respect!