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TRIBE DELIVERS A MESSAGE

Until A Tribe Called Quest tore it down, late in the evening, with a rousing “We the People” that crashed hard on the Trump administration, big political statements were few and far between at the Grammys. In fact, mum was the word for most of the night, with a few notable exceptions:

  • Beyonce’s thank-you speech after winning the Best Urban Contemporary Album for Lemonade contained an inspirational message of women’s empowerment.
  • Katy Perry wore a “Persist” armband while singing her new “purposeful pop” song, “Chained To the Rhythm.”
  • Highly Suspect’s Johnny Stevens wore a black jacket with “IMPEACH” stenciled on the back.
  • Neil Portnow took the kind, gentle approach, delivering a message about the healing power of music in the face of ugly divisiveness.

It was all polite and well-mannered. But Tribe, joined by Anderson .Paak, Busta Rhymes and Consequence, spelled it all out. When Busta hit the stage, it was pretty clear what time it was. “I’m not feeling the political climate right now. Thank you, President Agent Orange for perpetuating the evil,” he yelled. “We the People,” punctuated with shouts of “resist,” became a referendum against Trump in general and his proposed Muslim ban specifically.

It was a nailbiter, but thanks to Tribe, The Grammys held their own in the battle for Awards Show Activism Supremacy. 

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