Black History Month made a grand entrance earlier this month through the golden doors of the Grammys. On Feb. 10 of this year, numerous records were broken, and even more bars were set by African American artists involved. Adding to the list of winners containing artists like Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, and Aretha Franklin, music continues to benefit from great artists.
“This Is America” by Childish Gambino has been successful from the moment it was released. It won Song of the Year, Record of the Year, and Best Rap Song/Performance this year, being the first rap song to win both song and record of the year. It is no surprise that the track accomplished this because it exhibits a lot of award-winning traits. It gives a different perspective of America that demands to be heard.
The theme of the song is expressed in the line, “Don’t catch you slippin’ up,” saying that mistakes today are dangerous when they occur. The song begins by discussing ideas of partying and money, the stereotypical American issues. It eventually evolves into serious issues of gun violence and poor quality of life. Paired with its music video, “This Is America” is powerful across the board. This kind of honesty is the kind of thing that wins awards and changes the game that awards shows revolve around.
It comes as no surprise that Cardi B marched in this year to set a record of her own. With a reputation for empowering, kick-down-the-door songs, she moved quickly to the top. Her album, “Invasion of Privacy” took the prize of Best Rap Album. As if this wasn’t already impressive, she also became the first female solo artist to do so, which only adds to the list of accomplishments this year.
A new artist took the stage at the awards show and on the charts recently, becoming another award-winning artist. African American singer, H.E.R., won Best R&B Album and Performance all while keeping her face a mystery to her growing fan base. The song that won, “Best Part,” is another winner. Its slow beat, coupled with stunning vocals from H.E.R. and Daniel Caesar, brings classic clichés like “you’re the coffee that I need in the morning” and other lyrics involving eyes and sunshine and stars into a new light. The brand-new feeling captures the love the artists sing of and make it sound fresh.
In light of recent hurtful and negative events on our campus, a lot of importance should be stressed on successes like these. Let them remind us that powerful history and accomplishments are stronger than any hate thrown into the mix.