Shirley Caesar is not CeCe Winans - At some point it would helpful if an award show producer could tell Black Folk apart. By the way, the new CeCe Winans album, Let Them Fall in Love, is a banger - with some of the songs hearkening back to the 60s similar to Raphael Saadiq’s The Way I See It or Leon Bridges’ Coming Home.
I’m Not Sure What Ceelo was Wearing Either – Award shows are ripe for outlandish outfits. This year was no different. This is not a fashion blog, but I’m sure Mr. Green will express his motivation if he hasn’t already. Maybe the paint was to protect him from his phone blowing up?
Chance the Rapper is Everything – If you saw his performance on Jimmy Fallon, you already know that Chance is not afraid to express his spirituality. This is a tradition with many Black artists and it continues with him. While some in the Christian community will shrug this off, I never have. It never hurts to uplift God in a secular setting.
Bruno Mars is the Best Non-Beyoncé Performer in the Game Right Now – From the Super Bowl a couple years ago to the Grammys last night, it seems that Bruno Mars is a master of the stage. It doesn’t hurt that he chose that particular Prince song but his performance was spot on - from the vocals to the guitar solo. And yes, Morris Day and Time still got it. Although it’s interesting they did not perform a Prince song as it was billed.
Thank You President Agent Orange – The Tribe’s performance was powerful, making a political statement and honoring Phife. From police shootings protest performances to now, I'm hoping the trend protest songs and performances will continue to spur awareness and action – in Hip Hop particularly. Even as I hope the issues being protested become resolved. By the way, please check out Sho Baraka’s The Narrative – incredible project that examines political issues from interesting perspectives. Plus, he’s one of the best lyricists I’ve heard in years. In future blog posts, I’ll examine top political/conscious rap songs from the 80s, 90s and 00s.