February 13, 2017
All eyes were on the music world Sunday night for the 59th Annual Grammy Awards. In today's political climate, that meant the show's winners, presenters and performers were afforded a platform and an audience to make a statement.
No group seized the opportunity more boldly than A Tribe Called Quest, Busta Rhymes, Consequence and Anderson .Paak.
Group member Q-Tip addressed the crowd before the music started to offer a message, saying, “We’d like to say to all those people around the world who are pushing people who are in power to represent them. Tonight, we represent you.”
The hip-hop artists moved on to perform a medley of popular songs until Busta Rhymes transitioned into pointed commentary about President Donald Trump and his controversial executive order imposing limits on travel from seven Muslim-majority countries.
“I just want to thank President Agent Orange for perpetuating all of the evil that you’ve been perpetuating throughout the United States. I want to thank President Agent Orange for your unsuccessful attempt at the Muslim ban,” Rhymes said as the group's "We the People" began and a wall was knocked over, letting people of various ethnicities take the stage.
The song featured the hook:
"All you black folks, you must go
And all you poor folks, you must go
All you Mexicans, you must go
Muslims and gays, boy, we hate your ways
All you bad folks, you must go"
The politically charged performance ended with Q-Tip chanting "Resist!" Watch it here:
However, not every political statement expressed opposition to Trump.
Singer Joy Villa walked the red carpet in a red, white and blue dress that depicted Trump's campaign slogan, "Make America Great Again."
The designer of the dress, Andre Soriano, told The Hollywood Reporter the fashion choice was about unity:
"It’s more so about love," Soriano said. "We all live on this planet. I’ve never been in the political arena. However, it’s just so crazy that people are getting beat up because they voted for Trump, or this and that, someone wants to bomb the White House. I am an American, I moved here from the Philippines, and I highly believed in the trueness of what this country can bring. It’s about bringing people together, that’s the message."
As for the awards, Adele won the most Grammy Awards of the night with five.