This year some high profile artists boycotted the Grammys, the most notable being Frank Ocean and Kanye West. Kanye West boycotted them because he has long had beef with The Grammys, and for good reason too. Despite having 8 nominations this year, he told a crowd on his Saint Pablo Tour that he would boycott the Grammys if Frank Ocean wasn’t nominated for anything.
Kanye also had this to say after Beck won The Album of the Year over Beyonce in 2015.
“The Grammys, if they want real artists to keep coming back, they need to stop playing with us,” he added. “Because what happens is, when you keep on diminishing art and not respecting the craft and smacking people in the face after they deliver monumental feats of music — it’s disrespectful to inspiration.”
But in an interesting twist, Frank Ocean also boycotted the awards by declining to submit his album Blonde for consideration AND not attending, so please hand him his crown for king of the boycott. His reason for sitting this one out? He believes the Grammys are “not representing” all artists equally.
“It just doesn’t seem to be representing very well for people who come from where I come from, and hold down what I hold down.”
“I think the infrastructure of the awarding system and the nomination system and screening system is dated. I’d rather this be my Colin Kaepernick moment for the Grammys than sit there in the audience,” he explained in this interview with The New York Times.
Take a minute to imagine Frank Ocean and Colin Kaepernick joined together as activists in spirit. If you haven’t fainted from the awesomeness of this union, then please carry on, for you are stronger than I am.
But things appeared to escalate when two lesser known older men connected to the Grammys (Grammys producers?) dissed Frank Ocean as a way of brushing off the boycott. They implied his real reason for boycotting was his 2013 performance. You can read what they said here but it doesn’t matter as much as what happens next.
Naturally Ocean did the only thing Ocean could do in this situation…
…publish his own clap back of fire on Tumblr. Step. the. fuck. back.
Here is a snippet of the flaming embers but for the full fiery experience in all caps, go straight to the source and bow down.
“Ok Ken (and David). As much as I hate to make you guys famous or even respond to you directly. We all die one day and you’re old so fuck it. Yea yea my 2013 performance at the Grammys was absolute shit. Technical difficulties, blah blah. Thanks for the reminder. Very much appreciated. Fuck that performance though.
You think that’s why I kept my work out of the Grammy process this year? Don’t you think I would’ve wanted to play the show to ‘redeem’ myself if I felt that way?”
“I’ve actually been tuning into CBS around this time of year for a while to see who gets the top honor and you know what’s really not ‘great TV’ guys? 1989 getting album of the year over To Pimp A Butterfly. Hands down one of the most ‘faulty’ TV moments I’ve seen.
Believe the people. Believe the ones who’d rather watch select performances from your program on YouTube the day after because your show puts them to sleep. Use the old gramophone to actually listen bro, I’m one of the best alive.
And if you’re up for a discussion about the cultural bias and general nerve damage the show you produce suffers from then I’m all for it. Have a good night.”
And the best part? Learning that Frank Ocean bought all his masters back last year in the prime of his career and Blonde sold a million plus without a label. There are so many ways to be successful, but becoming independent and staying true to your artistry and creativity is one of the best ways to do it. What a legend.
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