While there’s much to celebrate in the aftermath of the 2021 Grammy Awards held in LA on Sunday night, there’s also a hum of disappointment by conservatives who feel that rappers, Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B’s WAP performance, was over-sexualised for television.
Let’s start off by congratulating the youngest winner though. Nine- year- old Blue Ivy, the eldest child of JayZ and Beyonce, won her first award for “Brown Skin Girl,” which copped the award for Best Music Video. The single was originally released for the 2019 Disney film, The Lion King: The Gift, before being adapted for Beyoncé’s 2020 film, Black Is King.
The 9-year-old was not present at the event but her parents sure were, Beyonce dressed in a short, black leather textured, off-shoulder dress that clinched her curvaceous physique to a tee, while her hubby’s growing dreadlock hairstyle seemed to steal the spotlight with every turn of the camera in the couple’s direction.
Beyonce, in an Instagram caption alongside the film’s debut, wrote : “The events of 2020 have made the film’s vision and message even more relevant, as people across the world embark on a[n] historic journey. We are all in search of safety and light. Many of us want change. I believe that when Black people tell our own stories, we can shift the axis of the world and tell our REAL history of generational wealth and richness of soul that are not told in our history books. I pray that everyone sees the beauty and resilience of our people.”
The talk of the day however is the performance by Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion, many arguing that their performance was not family friendly, in an award show that was aired on CBS, and is usually marketed to audiences that may include younger children. On Twitter, irate spectators, virtually cringed as the pair gyrated across television screens around the world. “I truly hope no children were watching the WAP performance..” wrote @courtneywyn18, while @Saccole said, “WAP!! At the #GRAMMYs, really… where is the reserved decency and honor for our children! There’s a time and place for everything ppl! This was neither for this song. No class #GRAMMYs.”
Earlier this month, Dr. Seuss Enterprises announced that six of the children’s book author’s titles will no longer be sold because of racist and insensitive imagery.
There were others however, who thoroughly enjoyed the performance, arguing that it was just what the Grammy’s needed.
HERE ARE SOME OF THE 2021 GRAMMY WINNERS
Song of the Year
“I Can’t Breathe,” Dernst Emile II, H.E.R. and Tiara Thomas, songwriters (H.E.R.)
Best New Artist
Megan Thee Stallion
Best Pop Solo Performance
“Watermelon Sugar,” Harry Styles
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance
“Rain on Me,” Lady Gaga with Ariana Grande
Best Pop Vocal Album
“Future Nostalgia,” Dua Lipa
Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album
“American Standard,” James Taylor
Best Dance Recording
“10%,” Kaytranada featuring Kali Uchis
Best Dance/Electronic Album
Best Contemporary Instrumental Album
“Live at the Royal Albert Hall,” Snarky Puppy
Best Rock Performance
“Shameika,” Fiona Apple
Best Global Music Album
“Twice as Tall,” Burna Boy
Best Reggae Album
“Got to Be Tough,” Toots and the Maytals
Best Contemporary Christian Music Album
“Jesus Is King,” Kanye West
Best Rap Album
“King’s Disease,” Nas
Best Rap Song
“Savage,” Beyoncé, Shawn Carter, Brittany Hazzard, Derrick Milano, Terius Nash, Megan Pete, Bobby Session Jr., Jordan Kyle Lanier Thorpe and Anthony White, songwriters (Megan Thee Stallion featuring Beyoncé)
Best R&B Album
“Bigger Love,” John Legend
Best Rap Performance
“Savage,” Megan Thee Stallion featuring Beyoncé
Tarrus Riley Turns The Heat Up A Notch, Releases “Like That.”
Known for his evolutionary sound, Tarrus Riley is set to kick off the summer with his new single “ Like That”, produced by DJ Frass Records. The single, which was released April 2nd, garnered solid streaming numbers via Apple music and on Apple US itunes charts, has been receiving airplay on various mainstream stations in the US and UK.
Riley, known for his impressive catalogue of hits which includes, “Good Girl Gone Bad’, “Lion Paw”, “Memory”, a soca track done with Soca music maven, Machel Montano and the unforgettable, “She’s Royal”, is no stranger to creating hits, nor is he far removed from innovation. According to a media release issued by Destine Media, “Like That’, ifuses dancehall and R&B flavours and delivers a groove geared at getting women around the world, dancing and feeling perfect within themselves.
The media release highlights that over the past few years, reggae and dancehall music have been scrutinised for its evolution of, but Tarrus believes this evolution should be enjoyed and embraced, rather than negatively labeled.
In an interview with Pat Meschino for Daily Beast, Riley said “don’t watch the tempo because I like doing new things. People are concerned with names, labels, trap, rap, hip-hop, dancehall, I can’t bother with dem things. I have always been doing different kinds of sounds and I will continue. Music is going through a change right now, people are blending and fusing, everybody wants to call it a name, but I just call it good music.”
“Like That” is another song that highlights the Jamaican artist’s ability to blend sounds while maintaining his authenticity and entertaining his fan base. Currently set to headline Best of the Best Miami Music Fest 2021, Tarrus plans on releasing a few more sings this year.
The World Needs More People Like Her. See Who, and Why.
There’s often one person whose ambitions, as herculean as they may seem to the naked eye, is necessary and humbling to those looking on from a distance. In Trinidad and Tobago, a female Primary school teacher is proving that service goes beyond the portfolio that comes when one chooses a particular career path; she’s proving that true service is heartfelt and never dispassionate.
Michelle George Bermudez wears many hats. These days, the school teacher with 21-years professional service is teaching young women between the ages of 11 and 15, the art of photography via a free digital course. The course, provided via her company, Octomedia Studios offers these young women basic photography steps inclusive of lighting, angels and composition. “My aim with this free online tutorial is to simply give back and to empower these young women,” she explained. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, a very active Bermudez could be spotted competing on stage as the Queen of the Band at T&T’s Dimanche Gras for bands like Kalicharan Carnival in South, Trinidad, or acting in local productions, or even shooting photographs at major festivals, concerts, sporting events and fashion shows. Her resume is as dynamic as it is strategic. “I’ve always been involved in the arts. I’ve always loved culture,” she said, explaining that both her parents are artists who’ve been intimately involved in the creative sector and more specifically, Carnival. When it comes to giving back and mentoring the young and impressionable, Michelle’s resume also boasts strong involvement in the Girl Guides Association of Trinidad and Tobago where she has served as caption and district commissioner during her 19 years within the organization.
Michelle says she will soon be embarking on a career change and plans on adopting the titles of Director of Photography in addition to film director and producer. Her artistic background, shared by her parents and mastered by her along the way, has afforded her the tools needed to deliver workshops and special classes to those who desire such. “My goal is to teach others – especially young men and women so that they can empower themselves and enrich their lives,” she said, noting that her personal cache of resources includes models that have been crafted for film and photography sets.
Eternally grateful for the guidance afforded through mentorship by Ian Pantin- an entertainment industry stalwart, Michelle says her business model at Octomedia Studios will continue to incorporate passion and love. She understands the importance of truly enjoying a profession, and says there’s never a dull moment in her life. “I enjoy learning and it gives me even greater pleasure to pass on what I learn, to others,” she said.
With numerous years of experience as a Carnival Queen on stage at the Dimanche Gras competition in T&T, in addition to her involvement in Best Village Competitions, playing the steelpan for Panorama and of course, her photography and filmmaking experience, this school teacher is proving that service goes beyond the confines of career and can only be truly shared with the world, from a place of love.
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