BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Sean “Diddy” Combs called out the Grammy Awards for dissing rap and R&B stars in its major categories in a blazing speech that earned him a standing ovation from Beyoncé, Jay-Z and several other music industry players.
“So I say this with love to the Grammys, because you really need to know this, every year y’all be killing us man. Man, I’m talking about the pain. I’m speaking for all these artists here, the producers, the executives,” he said. “The amount of time it takes to make these records, to pour your heart into it, and you just want an even playing field.”
“In the great words of Erykah Badu, ‘We are artists and we are sensitive about our (expletive).’ We are passionate. For most of us, this is all we got. This is our only hope,” Combs continued. “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.”
“So right now with 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 around the word,” Combs said. “And for years we’ve allowed institutions that have never had our best interest at heart to judge us. And that stops right now.”
At the end of his 50-minute speech Saturday night at Clive Davis’ white-hot pre-Grammys gala where Combs was honored, the music mogul demanded a change and said he was happy to be involved in making a difference.
Davis’ annual gala was jam-packed with well-known guests, including Michael Douglas, Naomi Campbell, Cardi B, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Quincy Jones, Joni Mitchell and DJ Khaled.