The Bigger Picture Of The 2015 Grammys
While the whole world (and by whole world I essentially am referring to the Twittersphere) was consumed by Kanye’s almost virtual reenactment of the stunt he pulled at the 2009 VMA’s, I ask that we look past that and recognize the powerful messages that were sent by artists Pharrell Williams and Beyonce Knowles (do people call her that anymore?).
Since Pharrell (and his hat’s) performance came before Queen B’s, it’s only fair I begin with the ‘Happy’ artist. Besides hysterically grilling ‘Shake it off’ star Taylor Swift, Pharrell put on a memorable performance on arguably the biggest stage the music industry has to offer. Dressed in unique bellhop attire, Williams approached the stage alongside about 50 backup dancers decked in all black from top to bottom, but notably black hoodies draped over their heads. This image of course is synonymous with the horrific murder trial of Trayvon Martin.
With the imagery involved in that shooting, in the midst of his performance, the music stopped and Pharrell and his backup dancers raised their hands in reference to Michael Brown and the #BlackLivesMatter movement that called the world to action in 2014. The fact that Pharrell used his moment at the Grammys to dedicate awareness to such an important cause displays the magnitude of the social justice issues plaguing our nation.
Complimenting Pharrell’s almost perfectly, the 2015 Grammys ended their show with a compelling performance by Beyonce. While everyone assumed B would perform one of her radio smashes such as ‘Drunk in Love’ or even ‘Flawless,’ she took a different route by performing her rendition of “Take My Hand, Oh Precious Lord” which was a gospel song written by Thomas Dorsey in the 1950’s.
As Beyonce and her holy choir stood there dressed in all white, just as in Pharrell’s set, they raised their hands in representation of the tragedy that involved Michael Brown. But that wasn’t all. At the very end of her performance, Bey along with the choir extended their arms out as a request for unity in this fight against racial injustice across America.
The Bigger Picture
The value of this message cannot be minimized, and should not go unnoticed. Beyonce and Pharrell are at the top of their games and are fully aware they have a powerful voice—let’s listen to their message instead of getting consumed by Yeezy’s typical shenanigans. Please.