You first have to mean something to country music before you can get snubbed by it. You don’t hear baseball players whining they did win the Heisman.
On Wednesday (8-31), the nominees for the 2016 CMA Awards were announced, and subsequently the story turned to who got snubbed, as per normal after most nominee announcements for awards. Some think that up-and-coming artists Sturgill Simpson and Margo Price got disrespected after it was revealed they were in early contention for the nominations but didn’t make the final cut. Others see a glaring omission in The Voice coach Blake Shelton receiving no love, or massive concert draw Jason Aldean getting left out, or country music’s EDM maestro Sam Hunt seeing no action.
But in a society where everyone is aggressively on the lookout for reasons to be offended and to call out gross injustices that only exist because someone decides they should, guess whose fans are creating an internet furor because country music had the lily white audacity to snub her for an award she doesn’t deserve, never should have been in the running for, was never even pursuing, and for a song that is not only not country, but was never even released to country radio.
Yes I’m talking about the Queen Bea herself—Beyonce.
On Beyonce’s latest record Lemonade there’s a song called “Daddy Lessons.” And because someone screams “Yee Haw!” and she says “Texas” a few times, apparently that qualifies it as country. And this is the idea the press has been trumpeting ever since the song hit the streets, including by the supposedly objective and non bias Associated Press, who was even saying when the song was released in May…
The song could even qualify for CMA’s song of the year or single of the year awards if it charts in the top 50 of a Billboard country singles chart by the end of June. And there’s no requirement for being known as a country artist for Beyonce to be nominated for female vocalist of the year.
Even then the press was setting the table to characterize country music as a bunch of racist, closed-minded hicks if a non-country song from a non-country artist didn’t receive a CMA Award, or at least a nomination.
And now all of that has come to roost.
Writing for Fusion, journalist John Walker states,
Musically, the track draws on country, folk, soul, and other genres made popular by Black American musicians in the 19th and 20th centuries. One could argue that, in doing so, Beyoncé was attempting to reclaim these styles from the Elvis Presleys, Iggy Azaleas, and countless other white entertainers who decontextualized them in the decades that followed, even if her efforts fell on deaf ears throughout many corners of Nashville … Perhaps not unrelated, the 2016 CMA Award nominees are almost entirely all white.
How exactly would Beyonce be reclaiming country music from decades of decontextualizing from Iggy Azalea, or even Elvis Presley? Once again, the issue of Millennial intellectual think piece pundits who only know country music from the outside looking in comes to the forefront.
Check out some of the other ridiculous notions buzzing around the Beahive:
Carrie Underwood probably threatened the CMA people because she knew Beyoncé was coming for her country throne https://t.co/CG1PdFvz1L
— ♕ (@beytrash) August 31, 2016
dolly parton should give beyonce her CMA for daddy lessons https://t.co/N6vU8w4raw
— ️️️ (@BeyIconic) August 30, 2016
In fairness, none of the furor appears to be coming from Beyonce herself, at least at the moment. But why would she get her hands dirty when her sycophants and surrogates in the press and the celebrity Stan culture can infuriate social media with manufactured hatred in an attempt to divide us among racial and cultural lines?
This has nothing to do with race, it has to do with licking Beyonce’s ass in celebrity worship run amuck, while using race to make windmill tilting arguments. God himself could come down and declare that “Daddy Lessons” isn’t country and unfit for a CMA Award, and the Beehive, both affiliated and unaffiliated with the celebrity press, still wouldn’t believe it. This isn’t just insanity, it is abject idolatry.
You want to know who got snubbed for CMA Awards? How about Rhiannon Giddens, who’s arguably the best singer in country music, Carrie Underwood, Cuban-American Raul Malo, and Canadian-born New Zealander Tami Neilson notwithstanding.
This is country music’s African roots, black and beautiful.
Meanwhile what is Beyonce doing? Screaming “Yee Haw!” in “Daddy Lessons”? That’s the most stereotypical of stereotypical country music reductive bullshit possible, and cultural appropriation by definition.
Does country music have a racial diversity problem? Of course it does. But claiming Beyonce has any business winning a CMA Award, especially Female Vocalist of the Year, doesn’t help that cause, it flies in the face of it. It makes the issue seem like one about symbolism as opposed to finding artists from diverse backgrounds that can offer substantive and insightful perspectives to the genre to enhance the overall quality and diversity of the music. Country awards are meant for country artists, not for some exorbitantly rich and successful superstar carpetbagger coming in to abscond with accolades meant for artists who’ve actually devoted their lives to the country music craft.
Beyonce got subbed by the CMA’s you say? Yeah, fuck off. This remains a non issue.