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Monday, February 26, 2024

Killer Mike’s Arresting Grammy Night and Jay-Z’s Quest for Validation

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA / February 8, 2024

Killer Mike, Beat Rap Album winner

This year’s Grammy Awards included powerful performances from the likes of Stevie Wonder, Fantasia, Joni Mitchell and more, and Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter was honored with the Dr. Dre Global Impact Award. Though it was a celebratory, talent-filled celebration, there were behind-the-scenes drama and onstage moments that have people still talking after what is known as “music’s biggest night.”

Fresh off his uninformed tirade two days earlier when he declared his more than three-decade animus toward President Joe Biden because the then-Senator pushed a highly consequential crime bill, Killer Mike spun around in disbelief and joy over his big Grammy Award wins.

The hip-hop star has, for some reason, refused to hold the twice-impeached and four-times indicted former President Donald Trump accountable for things like calling for the death of the Exonerated Five, continued racist attacks on Black and other women of color, caging infants and separating them from their families.

But Trump apparently gets Mike’s vote over Biden.

It was not immediately clear why he was being arrested just before the Grammys broadcast began, the Los Angeles Police Department released the following in a news release, “The suspect was placed under arrest and was transported to LAPD Central Division. The suspect has been identified as 48-year-old Michael Render and booked for Misdemeanor Battery 243(A) PC, and is in the process of being released.”

Jay-Z used his wife Beyoncé Knowles Carter as an example to discuss the politics behind awards and the Recording Academy.

“I don’t want to embarrass this young lady, but she has more Grammys than anyone, and never won album of the year,” he said about Beyoncé, the most-nominated female artist in history. “Even by your own metric, that does not work. Think about that, most Grammys, never won Album of the Year.”

Beyonce has received 32 Grammy awards and 88 nominations. Between them, the Carters have won at least 55 Grammys. Jay-Z went beyond his wife, noting others are snubbed too.

“Some of you are going to go home tonight and feel like you’ve been robbed. Some of you may get robbed. Some of you don’t belong in the category,” he said to a roar of laughter.

“When I get nervous I tell the truth,” Jay-Z added, before offering a message that he emphasized goes beyond the Grammys.

“Just in life, you’ve got to keep showing up,” he said. “Forget the Grammys, you’ve got to keep showing up until they give you all those accolades you feel like you deserve. Until they call you chairman, until they call you a genius, until they call you the greatest of all time.”

The awards had several surprises, including Celine Dion presenting Taylor Swift with Album of the Year honors. Other winners included: Taylor Swift’s “Midnights,” for Album of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album; “Flowers,” by Miley Cyrus as Record of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance; “What Was I Made For?” by Billie Eilish (from the motion picture “Barbie,”), written by Billie Eilish O’Connell and Finneas O’Connell for Song of the Year; and Victoria Monet as Best New Artist.


Here is a list of many of the winners:

ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Midnights, Taylor Swift

RECORD OF THE YEAR
Flowers, Miley Cyrus

SONG OF THE YEAR
What Was I Made For?, Billie Eilish (from the motion picture Barbie); Billie Eilish O’Connell and Finneas O’Connell, songwriters

BEST NEW ARTIST
Victoria Monet

BEST POP VOCAL ALBUM
Midnights, Taylor Swift

BEST POP SOLO PERFORMANCE
Flowers, Miley Cyrus

BEST MUSICA URBANA ALBUM
Manana Sera Bonito, Karol G

BEST COUNTRY ALBUM
Bell Bottom Country, Lainey Wilson

BEST R&B SONG
Snooze, by SZA; Kenny B Edmonds, Blair Ferguson, Khris Riddick-Tynes, Solana Rowe and Leon Thomas, songwriters

THE DR DRE GLOBAL IMPACT AWARD
Jay-Z

BEST POP DUO/GROUP PERFORMANCE
Ghost in the Machine, SZA featuring Phoebe Bridgers

BEST ALTERNATIVE MUSIC ALBUM
The Record, Boygenius

SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR, NON-CLASSICAL
Theron Thomas

PRODUCER OF THE YEAR, NON-CLASSICAL
Jack Antonoff

BEST R&B ALBUM
Jaguar II, Victoria Monet

BEST PROGRESSIVE R&B ALBUM
SOS, SZA

BEST AUDIO BOOK, NARRATION AND STORYTELLING RECORDING
The Light We Carry: Overcoming In Uncertain Times, Michelle Obama

BEST REGGAE ALBUM
Colors of Royal, Julian Marley and Antaeus

BEST LATIN ROCK OR ALTERNATIVE ALBUM (tie)
Vida Cotidiana, Juanes and De Todas Las Flores, Natalia Lafourcade

BEST LATIN POP ALBUM
X Mi (Vol 1), Gaby Moreno

BEST RAP ALBUM
Michael, Killer Mike

BEST RAP SONG
Scientists & Engineers, Killer Mike ft Andre 3000, Future and Eryn Allen Kane

BEST FOLK ALBUM
Joni Mitchell at Newport (Live), Joni Mitchell

BEST ROCK ALBUM
This Is Why, Paramore

BEST ROCK PERFORMANCE
Not Strong Enough, Boygenius

BEST ROCK SONG
Not Strong Enough, Boygenius

BEST AMERICANA ALBUM
Weathervanes, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit

BEST METAL PERFORMANCE
72 Seasons, Metallica

BEST JAZZ INSTRUMENTAL ALBUM
The Winds of Change, Billy Childs

BEST JAZZ VOCAL ALBUM
How Love Begins, Nicole Zuraitis

BEST COMEDY ALBUM
What’s in a Name?, Dave Chappelle

BEST GOSPEL ALBUM
All Things New: Live in Orlando, Tye Tribbett

BEST CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIAN MUSIC ALBUM
Church Clothes 4, Lecrae

BEST AFRICAN MUSIC PERFORMANCE
Water, Tyla




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