Edward Segarra, USA Today, April 4, 2022
American reggae band SOJA took home the Grammy for best reggae album at the 64th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, and the internet is not happy about it.
The Virginia-based band won the award for their album “Beauty In The Silence,” which was released in July 2021 and peaked at No. 2 on Billboard’s reggae albums chart. The group beat out contemporaries Sean Paul, Spice, Jesse Royal, Etana and Gramps Morgan.
However, SOJA’s Grammy win wasn’t embraced by everyone.
Disappointed music fans took to social media to voice their outrage, with many pointing out the racial disparity of a white band winning an award in a reggae music category.
“If majority of Jamaicans across the world are unaware of your existence, you should not be winning a grammy for best Reggae album, sorry not sorry,” @nu_tiffany tweeted.
“SOJA (a group of YT men) just beat 4 Jamaican musicians for Best Reggae Album,” @leylandelake tweeted.
Twitter user @getfabnowboss said SOJA’s win over Spice, a Jamaican artist, reflects the reality that the entertainment industry and the people of Jamaica have “WORK TO DO.”
“The GRAMMY’S, Along With THESE CULTURAL VULTURES, Are Way Too PRESUMPTUOUS,” the user wrote. “OUR CULTURE Is Being DISRESPECTED & Blatantly ROBBED. We Need MUSICAL JUSTICE, This Ain’t It.”
“A white American group #soja won a grammy for best reggae album wtf Talk about culture appropriation,” @GeeSharp5 tweeted.