American reggae band SOJA took home the Grammy for Best Reggae Album at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, and the internet isn’t happy.
The Virginia-based band won the award for their album “Beauty in the Silence”, which was released in July 2021 and number 2 . reached at on Billboard’s Reggae Albums chart. The group beat contemporaries Sean Paul, Spice, Jesse Royal, Etana and Gramps Morgan.
“It was our dream to start a reggae band and the only thing we wanted to do was, and then one day people started coming to the show and we’re not really sure what happened,” lead singer Jacob Hemphill said of the band. acceptance speechAfter thanking his early musical influences.
Another member of the band said on stage, “The founding father of reggae music and for the island of Jamaica, you inspired us all.” “Thank you, love one.”
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Founded in 1997, SOJA has built an international following thanks to “heavy touring and a series of independent releases”, according to all Musicwhich formed the basis for their breakout album “Strength to Survive” released in 2012 and number 1 . at the peak on Billboard’s Reggae Albums chart.
The band’s follow-up album “Amid the Noise and Hust” saw them score their own. first grammy nomination in 2015.
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However, not everyone accepted SOJA’s Grammy win.
Frustrated music fans expressed their displeasure on social media, with many pointing to the racial disparity of a white band winning an award in the reggae music category.
“If most Jamaicans around the world are unaware of your existence, you shouldn’t be winning the Grammy for Best Reggae Album, Sorry Not Sorry,” @nu_tiffany tweeted,
“SOJA (a group of YT men) beat just 4 Jamaican musicians for Best Reggae Album,” @leylandelake tweeted,
Twitter user @getfabnowboss said SOJA’s victory over Jamaican artist Spice reflects the reality that the entertainment industry and the people of Jamaica have “work to do”.
“Grammys, With These Cultural Vultures, They’re Too Predictable,” User wrote. “Our culture is being disrespected and looted openly. We want musical justice, that’s not the point.”
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“A white American group #soja won a Grammy for best reggae album wtf talk about culture appropriation,” @GeeSharp5 tweeted,
Leaving aside racial and cultural issues, some argued that SOJA did not have the musical skills to earn the award.
“I encourage everyone to listen to the SOJA album before making negative decisions,” @geraldlindo tweeted. “I just quoted it on Tidal and I can honestly say I didn’t make it past track two, because it was hot garbage. But now at least I *know* I’m right.”
“The Grammy Awards are literally a competition between artists of the same genre,” @441QueenCarmel tweeted. “SOJA didn’t even deserve to pursue it beyond the local bar in Virginia, let alone one of music’s highest honors.”
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