What in the Macklemore is this????
Social media lit up with dismay after SOJA, a predominately white Reggae band out of Virginia whose name stands for SOLDIERS OF JAH ARMY [yes, seriously], secured the Best Reggae Album at Sunday’s 2022 Grammys.
SOJA snagged the award for their 7th studio album, Beauty in the Silence, knocking out big Jamaican contenders like dancehall legends Sean Paul and Spice, who were both nominated for their albums 10 and Live N Livin, respectively. Jamaican musician Jesse Royal received a nod for his 2021 project Royal, while Gramps Morgan earned a nomination for Positive Vibration. Reggae singer Etana was also nominated under the category, garnering recognition for her critically acclaimed album, Pamoja.
This is the first time an all-white Reggae band has won an award in the category’s 37 year history.
Reggae fans across the internet took to their socials to air out their frustrations about the win and even singer-songwriter, Johnta Austin weighed in.
“ALL THE BLACK PEOPLE NOMINATED IN THE REGGAE CATEGORY AND THEY GIVE THE GRAMMY TO A GROUP OF WHITE MEN IN DREADLOCKS WHO ARENT JAMAICAN,” wrote one person on Twitter.
While a Spice fan commented:
“SPICE Losing The Grammy To SOJA Has PROVEN That We JAMAICANS & Our ENTERTAINMENT SECTOR Has WORK TO DO. The GRAMMY’S, Along With THESE CULTURAL VULTURES, Are Way Too PRESUMPTUOUS, OUR CULTURE Is Being DISRESPECTED & Blatantly ROBBED. We Need MUSICAL JUSTICE, This Ain’t It.”
Another used claimed that a majority of Jamaicans were “unaware” of the band’s existence. “You should not be winning a Grammy for best Reggae album, sorry not sorry,” they added.
During their acceptance speech, SOJA’s lead singer Joseph Hemphill dedicated the win to Jamaica.
“We wanna thank all our influences when we were growing up. Starting our reggae band was kind of our dream and the only thing we wanted to do. And then one day people started coming to the shows,” he gushed. “To the founding fathers of reggae music into the island of Jamaica, you inspired us all. Give thanks. One love,” he added.
Sadly, the kind gesture wasn’t enough to quell the anger of Reggae stans.
Spice Reacts To Grammys Loss
Following the ceremony, Spice took to her socials to address the huge loss, telling her 3.9 million followers:
“Besties don’t cry we’ve come along way. Remember I came from Homeless to this day so I’m really still very humbled and grateful, I see all your support and disappointments but you know we never give up, we back at it again tomorrow‼️ I love you all so much, watch little Gracie pan Grammy red Carpet.”
Check out some more reactions to the news below and tell us, do you think the Grammys was trippin’ for their decision?