P. Diddy says "black music" isn't "respected" by the Grammy Awards.
The 50-year-old rapper - whose real name is Sean Combs - has slammed the Recording Academy for its alleged "discrimination" of black artists, as he claims that music made by people of colour has "never been respected" by those in charge of handing out the gongs.
Diddy spoke as part of a lengthy 50-minute speech, which he delivered at Clive Davis' annual Pre-Grammy Gala on Saturday (25.01.20) after being honoured with the President's Merit Award for Industry Icon.
Toward the end of his speech, he said: "I have to be honest. The last few days I've been conflicted. I'm being honoured by this industry I love, this family that I love, but there's an elephant in the room and it's not just about the Grammys. This is discrimination and injustice everywhere at an all-time high.
"But there's something I need to say to the Grammys and I changed my middle name to love, so it's Sean Love Combs now ... I say this with love to the Grammys because you really need to know this. Every year, y'all be killing us man. I'm talking about the pain. I'm speaking for all the artists here, producers and executives - the amount of time to make these records, to pour your heart out into it ... in the great words of Erykah Badu, 'We are artists and we're sensitive about our s**t. We are passionate.' "
The 'I'll Be Missing You' hitmaker gave the Grammys - which will crown its award winners for 2020 on Sunday (26.01.20) - "365 days" to improve, and asked the Recording Academy to "make the changes" necessary to bring "diversity".
He continued: "For most of us, this is all we've got. It's our only hope. Truth be told hip hop has never been respected by the Grammys. Black music has never been respected by the Grammys to the point that it should be. So, right now, in this current situation, it's not a revelation. This thing been going on and it's not just going on in music. It's going on in film. It's going on in sports. It's going on around the world. And for years, we've allowed institutions, that have never had our best interest at heart, to judge us. And that stops right now.
"Y'all got 365 days to get this s**t together ... We need the artists to take back control. We need transparency. We need diversity. This is the room that has the power to make the change. It needs to be made. They have to make the changes for us. They're a nonprofit organisation that's supposed to protect the welfare of the musical community. That's what it says on the mission statement. That's the truth. They work for us."
Closing his speech, Diddy listed several iconic albums by black artists which have been snubbed in the past.
He said: "My goal used to be about making hit records, but now it's about assuring that the culture moves forward, my culture. Our culture. The black future.
"And for me to be worthy of receiving an icon award, I have to use my experience to help make a change. And on that note ... y'all got 365 days.
"And I want to dedicate this award to Michael Jackson for 'Off the Wall,' Prince for '1999,' Beyoncé for 'Lemonade,' Missy Elliott for 'Da Real World,' Snoop Dogg for 'Doggy Style,' Kanye West for 'Graduation' and Nas for 'Illmatic.' "