Should you forgive when people continue to do you wrong?

It is fair to say that we have all been disappointed by another person at least once in our lives; if you haven’t already, then rest assured, you will at some point in your life, guaranteed. You may even be disappointed by someone’s actions towards you more than once in life, which bears the question; should you forgive when people continue to do you wrong?

I’m sure you’ve heard the sayings ‘Forgive and forget’ and ‘Turn the other cheek’, but to what extent are these philosophies useful when it comes to repeat offenders? Are we expected to continually make allowances for people who have no regard for the feelings of others? I, for one, have been on the receiving end of being let down on numerous occasions by the same people, and from experience, I can say that it can be disheartening and frustrating. But it has opened my eyes to how people can be, and given me insight into the way forgiveness can and should be shown.

It all depends on the situation and the person at hand. This covers several fields; the relationship you have with said person, their integrity, and the act that they continue to carry out, or to omit from doing. In addition to this, what also comes into play is to what extent their actions affect you, how you have responded in the past, and what they have subsequently done thereafter.

A mistake is defined as; an act or judgement that is misguided or wrong. As humans, we are allowed to make mistakes because it gives us the opportunity to learn from the experience and do better in the future. However, as the saying goes, ‘We are what we repeatedly do’, so if a person continues to make the same mistake it shows a lack of care, growth, and a personal choice to continue to behave this way. A personal choice to make the wrong decision in a situation, which is the point where I would say, they begin to take liberties. And once people begin to take liberties, in my opinion, they show themselves to be presumptuous, impertinent and audacious. In other words, they lack respect, and have no problem in showing it. This goes for relationships at any level; be it associates, colleagues, acquaintances, friends or family members.

The worst part about people who let us down repeatedly, is that a lot of the time, on the other hand, they can be lovely people. They can be caring, funny, considerate and great to be around. However, a person who repeatedly lets you down, repeatedly makes you feel bad about yourself, repeatedly is not there for you, and repeatedly says or does things to you which you have made clear you do not like, do not approve of, do not want, or do not appreciate, is undependable, unreliable and fickle. There is only so many times you can make allowances for someone. You shouldn’t have to feel exhausted and tired of making excuses for the same person over and over again; there has to be a point where you say ‘No more. Enough is enough.’

I definitely believe that if we ever find ourselves in situations like these, we have the right to put a stop to it. Be that, with of without the knowledge of the other person. Oftentimes it can be better if the other person does not know you have decided not to grant them anymore chances, as they can be known to wear you down or talk you out of it. But sometimes, it is good to give people a piece of your mind, and let them know just how they have made you feel. It can be humbling and eye opening for them. However, it is up to you to discern how the person will react and whether this method will be effective in your personal situation. Nevertheless, the option still stands for you to take action on your own terms, without the other person knowing. You can make a personal decision to distance yourself from the situation. This doesn’t have to mean cutting yourself off from the person completely, but perhaps just lowering your expectations of them and choosing not to continue to put yourself in a place where you can allow them to do what they usually do.

For example, if you constantly invite someone to your birthday party each year and they constantly make excuses as to why they can’t make it; don’t invite them any more. It doesn’t mean you have to stop being friends with them; it just means you are saving yourself from unnecessary stress and aggravation. Another example; if you are constantly left out from group activities, don’t expect to be invited, and then you will find that you won’t care. Let me clarify what I mean by this; by accepting this fact, you are simply accepting that you are not doing anything wrong on your part, but it is the other person who is being bitter, which is unflattering and juvenile. You will often find that petty behaviour like the aforementioned can be quite humorous once you see it for what it really is; childish. In saying this, I am not discrediting the act of forgiveness; on the contrary. You may have heard the saying ‘Forgive and forget’, well I think we should ‘forgive and accept’.

To forgive is to ‘simply stop feeling angry or resentful towards (someone) for an offence, flaw, or mistake’, and to accept is to ‘take what is offered.’ Therefore in doing this, you are deciding not to waste time and energy on the negativity that people present you with.

To reiterate this, here is a video of Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama discussing forgiveness, which more or less follows what I’m saying:

At the end of the day, we all have our flaws, and none of us are perfect, however, I believe we should all strive to better ourselves and learn from our experiences in order to grow. And to grow, sometimes we need to let go of certain things that may be holding us back. At the end of the day, we all grow and different speeds, and life has a funny way of showing us this, so don’t be disheartened if you have to distance yourself from certain people, as not only are you bettering yourself, but you are setting an example for others. Whether or not they choose to accept that is their choice. But it is important to remember that your priority should be your own happiness and you shouldn’t let other people take it away.

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What I’ve Been Watching (#1)

Good morning/afternoon/evening, and welcome to this brand new feature that I’m trying out on the site. Since, evidently, I am not the best at putting out regular content, I have found it easier to combine several topics into a single post. So rather than making a single post for every show/movie I’ve been watching lately, I will just make periodical posts about groups of things I’ve been watching.

Currently, TV-wise, I have been watching an eclectic selection of shows; Orange is the New Black, Arrested Development, Atlanta and Suits.

OITNB:

I am extremely late to this show and I’m not completely caught up yet, but I’m midway through the third season. I have to say I see why the show has been hyped up so much. It definitely lives up to it. I love how diverse the show is and how we get to see the backstory of a lot of the characters. I also love how convincingly portrayed the characters are; they don’t seen unrealistic or forced. The character dynamics and camaraderie is great which makes for, what seems seems to be, an authentic representation of a woman’s prison. My only criticism is, and I know so many people have raised this issue already, but Piper’s character is a bit underwhelming to be considered as the main protagonist. I feel like the writers of the show are aware of this as meta commentary often slips into the remarks of some of the secondary characters in regards to her portrayal as the white, privileged, middle-class female who is obsessed with wanting everyone to think she is a good person. I think they did start to improve this by developing the characters surrounding her and making sure we got to know all of their backstories equally, so they did make up for it. On another note, I just wanted to say that the ‘Vee’ character was an abysmal character, and I’m glad she is no longer in the show. Her presence was putting a dampener on the whole dynamic of the show, in my opinion. But the good thing about this show is the fact that it has a rotating cast, which is reflective of the environment it is set in. Prisoners will all have different sentence lengths so it allows for characters to enter and exit the show regularly.

 

Arrested Development:

There are two things I like about this show. I like the mockumentary style of the show; the narration, the following each different character’s daily activities and the camerawork. As a side note; I’m not sure whether it’s intentional but I’ve noticed that the microphone is visible in shot in several scenes in the show. Either way, it adds to the style.

The second thing I like about the show is the ironic brand of humour; a style we would later see in shows like Parks and Recreation and Archer. I love the absurd situations the character always seem to find themselves in. The type of situations you wouldn’t even bother explaining because you know the other person wouldn’t believe you. Another thing that I like about the show is that since I began watching Archer before Arrested Development, I couldn’t get over the fact that Jessica Walter didn’t change her voice at all for her character, Malory Archer, in the series.

 

Atlanta:

Although it’s a brand new show, Atlanta already has that atmospheric feel of a show you’ve lived with for a while; the feeling that you get when you are truly transported into the environment of the show because it is effortlessly characterised. I find this a lot in shows and movies where, objectively, not a lot happens plot-wise, but yet you leave feeling like you know and can relate to the characters a little better. This show is one of them. Donald Glover is great as Earn, a hard done by father of a young daughter, who lives with his child’s mother, although they are separated. The show follows Earn as he tries to manage his rapper cousin Paperboi, after he scores an unexpected underground hit. I love how the show balances comedic elements with a serious undertone. It’s raised questions about society’s attitude towards mental health, as well as the struggles that come with working in a low paid job while having to provide for those around you. Glover has really come a long way from his Community days.

 

Suits:

An instant favourite of mine, Suits is a witty legal dramedy which follows Mike, a formal professional exam scammer (he would use his natural talent for retaining knowledge to take exams for people for money), who finds himself in the wrong place at the right time, and manages to score a job at a top law firm. But the condition is that he must keep it under wraps that he doesn’t actually have a law degree. Under the wing of the pseudo-self absorbed, Harvey Spector, Mike must navigate his way around the law, but on the other side of the table.  All in all the show is a great watch; it’s biggest asset for me is that it is fast moving and doesn’t get stagnant. It keeps you on your toes, and therefore keeps you entertained. I’m still on the first season, but as of yet, I have no complaints about the show.

 

I haven’t really been watching many films lately, although I did watch one earlier today;

Fargo:

I’m going to say from the jump that I’m a huge fan of the way the film juxtaposes the violence of the criminals, with the genuine niceness of people of the suburb. Had this movie been written any other way, it would definitely be mentally scarring. The acting is impeccable, the accents are endearing and the movie is a gem. a definite new favourite for me.

That just about wraps up the first edition of ‘What I’ve Been Watching’, you’ll have to keep watching to see whether I continue this series, though.

Let’s Talk About…(#8) – Zootopia

Zootopia, or Zootropolis as it is known here in the UK, is currently dominating the box office, clocking in an impressive $900,000,000 worldwide so far, and beating out the likes of Batman Vs. Superman to become the highest grossing film of the year (at this point). So naturally, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about, and let me say, I wasn’t in the least bit disappointed, (except for the song at the end, but we won’t talk about that).

The film is set in the city of Zootropolis, which is the equivalent of the inner city, follows the story of a newly qualified suburban rabbit cop, Judy Hopps (very punny), who has to prove herself to her colleagues after being given a forty-eight hour ultimatum to find a missing weasel. Her acquaintance along the way is a scoundrel fox, Nick Wilde, who has to work with Hopps in order to clear his name. Together they uncover more than they bargained for when they uncover the real reason why several formerly predatory animals are beginning to turn back to their ravenous ways.

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What I especially loved about the film was how timely and socially conscious the film was. Despite the fact that is was a Disney animated film, the film had a very prominent subtext. It was basically a commentary on today’s social issues and I’m pretty sure I picked up references to gender inequality in the workplace, the drugs epidemic, corruption in the government and the police force, gangs, as well as racism and prejudice. I think you would agree that this is unusually heavy subject matter for a Disney film, or a kids film in general, but it was handled very delicately and effectively.

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The use of animals to display social class was excellent and was a great way to show how people are all different, but it is possible for us to live in harmony if we learn to accept each other’s differences. That is what I believe the moral of the story was. However, not to doubt the abilities of today’s children, I do believe the plot was a bit complicated for younger viewers, and I have to admit there were a few jump scares that caught me off guard. Nevertheless I thoroughly enjoyed the film and I am pleased that it is doing so unexpectedly well.

Let’s Talk About… (#7) – Being the Bigger Person

Often, for no apparent reason, people may seemingly dislike you or treat you a little more coarsely than they treat others. The most obvious explanations would be that they are  jealous, or have their own issues or have low self-esteem. Whatever the case may be, it often leaves you feeling, if not upset, then confused about why they treat you the way they do. As children, we would refer to these people as ‘playground bullies’, but in reality, you can encounter bullies at any age.

The thing about situations like these is that a lot of the time when you try to confide in someone you trust and explain to them how the other person is making you feel, the response is usually; “Don’t worry about it, I’m sure you’re just imagining it!”, or “Just ignore them and they’ll get bored and leave you alone” or the worst response you could possibly hear; “Well you must be doing something to annoy them!”. Unfortunately, when the other person is subtle in their ways, in that it is only noticeable to you, then it is near impossible for another person to understand how you feel and how hurtful it can be. In addition to this, it’s often as if these people know exactly when to strike; either when you’re having a really  good day, or perhaps when you’re having a rubbish day; right on cue, they come along with a snide comment to ruin your day. It can get to the point where you dread going somewhere for fear of seeing that person.

In my work environment, I experience these types of scenarios pretty often; be it from a manager or even customers. For example, when managers make jokes which they think are funny but are at your expense and expect you to laugh with them, or when customers are impatient/rude/demanding/insulting/racist. It can be exhausting having to smile through it all. However, that is exactly what you must do. Think about it; if people are so bitter that they would try to make someone else miserable, then why give them the satisfaction and allow them to drag you down to their level and join them in Mopeyville?

What I have realised is that when people behave in this manner they are simply reflecting their own personal issues and feelings. You should feel sorry for them; why would you want to make someone feel bad about themself just because you do. In reality, when you do feel bad about yourself, the best way to make yourself feel happier is to bring joy to other people. In this case, even if you are doing something to annoy them, then it’s being nice, and who can really complain that someone is being nice to them? There is a classic saying; ‘Kill them with kindness’, and that is literally your best bet. It will frustrate the other person even more until they see the error in their ways. A lot of the time, you may never know that the other person acknowledges the error in their ways and you may never get an apology, but at least you will have a clear conscience as you did nothing to aggravate the situation on your part.

All this is not to say that you should smile through someone taking advantage of you or persistently bringing you down and being either verbally or physically abusive towards you. In some cases, it is definitely necessary to speak out and stand up to the other person; to defend yourself. The message of this post it to not allow others to diminish your happiness on account of their bitterness and ‘hateration’.

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Fresh Music Roundup #16 – April 4th

Greetings everyone. Firstly, I just wanted to apologise for the lack of a FMR for last month but it was a crazy four weeks; two of which were spent on a well-deserved holiday! But I’m back and you can expect more frequent posts in the coming months. Anyway let’s get into this month’s picks:

Andra Day – Rise Up

Who doesn’t love a beautiful ballad? Andra is on ballad duty this time, giving everyone a dose of inspiration and motivation. This self-love+encouragement anthem is sure to get everyone feeling like they can achieve their goals.

Jorja Smith – Blue Lights

Jorja Smith tells the story of the negative side of the police and their abuse of power in this track; giving sirens and ‘blue lights’ negative connotations whilst comparing them to strobe lights and fairy lights, not too different from when Kanye did something similar in All of the Lights.

Nestbeth – My Dream

When I was on holiday earlier this month, this song (along with Rihanna Work) was inescapable, and with reason too! This is another inspirational island-kissed track which talks about achieving your dreams and goals so that you will be able to say ‘look at me now!’.

Patoranking (ft) Wande Coal – My Woman, My Everything

Another track  which had a huge presence on radio while I was on holiday was this track. A lot of people love this track because of the connection between the Afrobeats artist Patoranking, with the Jamaican recording artist Wande Coal – together they have made a scorcher of a tune which is sure to get people hyped in both countries.

Gallant – Bourbon

Damn, Gallant, back at it again with the glossy, atmospheric track and the throwback R&B adlibs!

Fresh Music Roundup #15 – Feb 26th

As per usual, here are the fresh new songs that I am enjoying at the moment. Grab some headphones and get listening!

 

James Bay – Let it Go

Recently I’ve been trying to listen to things outside of my (R&B) comfort zone, and I’ve gravitated towards James. I think this is a really beautiful song and I’ve had it on loop for a while now.

Missy Elliott – Pep Rally

This has literally become the most played song on my iTunes in such a short space of time. At first I wasn’t the biggest fan of the song, but it has grown on me and never fails to get me hyped up. I just need Missy to release the video immediately!

Tweet – Never Shoulda Left Ya

I’ve never really known of, or really listened to Tweet’s music, but her music has recently appeared on my radar and I love it! I love her tone and chilled vibe, especially this track. It has such a groove and it’s definitely a jam!

Zendaya – Something New (Ft. Chris Brown)

Zendaya’s mixing something old with ‘Something New’ for her new single with the TLC sample. It’s a great touch and the song is an undeniable banger. However, I do wish Chris was more creative with his verse because it changes nothing from the original song, Creep!

Fifth Harmony – Work From Home (Ft. Ty Dolla Sign)

Can someone say Smash Hit? 5H have found their lane and are cruising. Although not too different to any other song on the radio, it does show maturity and consistency with their debut album.

 

Let’s Talk About…(#6) – Making ‘Friends’ (Part 2) – Social

Back in November, I made a post about the concept of friendship and what classifies a relationship between two people as a ‘friendship’. I also spoke about the variations, limitations and complexities of friendships, and in retrospect I have a few more points to add. That post can be found here.

Friendship is a great part of life and can bring joy and happiness to people. It’s always good to have someone to share the highs and lows of life with, someone who always has your back and who you can share your thoughts, secrets and ideas with. However, I have recently been pondering over how you, personally, can affect the way a friendship plays out, and how certain things that you do can shape a friendship.

As I am almost certain I have mentioned on this blog before at least once,  I find it easy to talk to lots of different types of people. However, ironically, I can also be extremely socially awkward. I don’t like being forced to socialise and I despise being the centre of attention. For example, I hate answering questions in lectures because everyone in the room will be focused on me, however, during the break I will happily turn and speak to someone next to me who I’ve never spoken to before. But on the other hand, I don’t mind being the centre of attention in a group of people that I know. For example, I was always known to give witty answers in high school and make the class and the teacher laugh. I really enjoyed high school and there wouldn’t be a moment where I wasn’t laughing or chattering away in class; and my school reports are testament to that. But if I am somewhere new, or somewhere I don’t know anyone I will stay completely silent. And that’s what throws people off about me. My resting face, I have been told, is stone-cold and intimidating; which is something I can’t necessarily help. But I suppose it has been a blessing and a curse because people don’t tend to mess with me. However, if people don’t know me they often get the wrong idea about me. There have been countless occasions where people have told me they can’t believe I am the way I am because my personality is is completely different to the way that people perceive me at first glance. But as they say, don’t judge a book by it’s cover!

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Back to the point I was trying to make; being socially awkward can create limitations in making friends because people often don’t have the time to cultivate conversation. A lot of the time if people feel like a conversation isn’t going anywhere, or a person is being shy or awkward, instead of trying a different angle or to make the other person feel more comfortable, they would rather just find an excuse to end the conversation. However, this isn’t always good as everyone has their bad days and not everyone is the life of the party. Personally, I love finding out that someone who you perhaps would have misjudged based on rumours or a general attitude towards them by others, turns out to be completely different to what you expected; when you find a topic that they are passionate about and see them begin to glow and light up. I find people like this so interesting and refreshing and I tend to come across them surprisingly often. It’s all about taking the time to get to know people, because a lot of the time the people who have the most to say are the worst friends as they are frivolous and change friends with every minute that passes. With the mysterious, seemingly quiet people, it often feels as though you have earned their friendship as you’ve taken the time to get to know them and have shown an interest. Also, they tend to have more interesting and insightful points to make as they are more observant and reserved.

Another occurrence you can find in friendship is when the effort put into the relationship is not equal. For example, when it’s always the same person making the first move, sending the first text, making the first call, and these actions are not returned. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes, often actually, there are people who genuinely have every intention to keep in contact, but get so caught up in everyday life that they never get around to doing it (I’m guilty of this), and a lot of the time it is one person who will initiate but is fine with this as they know the other person does genuinely want to keep the relationship going. However, this is not always the case, and chasing someone can be an exhausting chore. Some people still miss the warning signs of a broken relationship when they are blaring in all their glory right in front of their eyes. It’s very difficult to distinguish unbalanced friendships these days as everyone is so engulfed in their own lives to keep up with another person’s life. However, it is always important to make time for friends; whether it’s setting a certain time in the week, month or even year to meet up regularly to keep things healthy.

Contrastingly, there are also friendships where it’s not the best idea to spend too much time with the person as things always tend to turn ugly. For example, if you know a friend is short tempered and you always accidentally say the wrong thing to get them going, or a friend who is overly competitive and takes everything as a challenge. These friends will turn anything into an argument or debate; just today I witnessed two people arguing about which of the two was the most stubborn! There is also the sensitive friend who gets offended by the smallest thing, and the friend who just gets in a weird mood, becomes standoffish, and makes things really awkward for no apparent reason. These things are all frustrating, but people are people, and you’ve just got to let them be who they are. It’s not the best idea to confront people about these kinds of flaws as they are often touchy and are aware that they come across this way and don’t like it in themselves. However, some are generally unaware and would appreciate you pointing it out to them. Either way it’s risky to bring it up and I would avoid it at all costs unless you discern that they won’t take it the wrong way. But beware, even if they seem like their fine with it, don’t be surprised if they drag it up in the near future and use it spitefully against you. It is also important not to place yourself in situations that you know make you uncomfortable, so if you genuinely don’t feel comfortable with someone then don’t put yourself in situations where you have to spend elongated time with them. Distance yourself, because you are not obligated to be their friend and more importantly, your happiness is paramount.

Finally, I want to talk about that friend, that annoying friend, who is amazing when you get them alone, but around other people they always try to show off and act completely different to how they are with you. For example, they may tease you in front of others, which they wouldn’t do if you were alone, or they might seem cruder, ruder or just completely different. I’m not sure what to think about these types of friends because they may behave like this for a number of reasons. For instance, they may be insecure and only feel comfortable around you, they may respect you so much that they behave around you but let loose around others, they may love attention, they may want to be accepted by those they consider ‘popular’, or they may just be two-faced. Depending once again on how you discern the situation, you may want to ask them why they act up, but as before, this may leave you on thin ice, so be warned!

Fresh Music Roundup #14 – Jan 29th

We’re almost coming to the end of the month and new music is just overflowing from all directions. It would be wrong of me not to pick the best of the bunch and show them to you, wouldn’t it? Grab some snacks and dig in below!

Coldplay – Hymn For The Weekend

I have been blasting this song since it was first premiered on Radio 1 last year and ever since. I’m elated that it’s being released as the next single and that it will be performed at the Superbowl in February. However, I have to acknowledge the cultural appropriation of Hindi and Asian culture in the video by Beyoncé. But apart from that the video is stunning and aesthetically consistent with the album artwork. I’m sure it will perform amazingly on the charts, not that this validates it.

 

Zayn – Pillowtalk

The 2010’s Robbie Williams, Zayn Malik, takes a step into solo stardom with this edgy R&B/Pop hybrid record. The video is great and the song is nice enough. I think Zayn is a good example of being true to yourself; if you know that something isn’t you then change it or get out of it. Substituting your identity is never the answer.

 

Raleigh Ritchie – Never Better

Although I think the song is pretty similar to the formula of his track Bloodsport ’15, I still think the song is nice. It’s about overcoming shyness and stepping out of your comfort zone to approach the person who you love.

 

Jess Glynne – Ain’t Got Far to Go

Jess Glynne’s career is blossoming; 5 number ones, a Grammy and she’s just been nominated for three Brits, all on her first album. The sky’s the limit for this starlet and this inspirational track is a testament to her drive and determination.

 

Journey Through Time #3 – Alessia Cara’s ‘Here’

Back in August, I featured Here by Alessia Cara in the eighth edition of Fresh Music Roundup, and what a journey through time this song has had. The sleeper hit has scorched airways worldwide as well as granting Cara with her first US top ten hit AND album, Know-it-All. The song paved the way for a phenomenal 2015 for Cara as it stood out from the rest of the tracks on radio at the time and created its own lane between contemporary and retro.

The track samples two tracks; Ike’s Rap 2 by Isaac Hayes

and Glory Box by Portishead.

I think it gets its soul from the first and its angst from the latter. Glory Box definitely does make me feel uncomfortable for some reason. I don’t know if it’s the repeated chords or the style of singing or both but it does make me cringe a bit.

Another song which comes to mind when I hear Here is Feeling Good by Nina Simone. The brash brass is forbidding and impending adding to the song’s menacing character, creating a masterpiece.

With these three songs as inspirations it is no wonder why Here struck a chord with people and I’m sure it will be Here for many years to come.

Let’s Talk About… (#5) – The Grammys 2016 – Music

It’s a new year which means a new awards season. With that being said, the 2016 Grammy nominations were announced last month and the awards show will be taking place next month, so now is a good a time as any for me to predict, or rather say who I want to win in my favourite categories.

Record of the Year:

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  • D’Angelo & the Vanguard – Really Love
  • Mark Ronson (ft. Bruno Mars) – Uptown Funk
  • The Weeknd – Can’t Feel My Face
  • Taylor Swift – Blank Space
  • Ed Sheeran – Thinking Out Loud

To be honest, I would be happy with any of the three artists winning in this category. Their efforts were great in 2015 and each were fantastic songs in their own right. Also, these three artists were all dark horses as they just sort of exploded onto the scene in a huge way. I don’t know where the major mainstream success came from for The Weeknd because it seemed like on Monday he was an underground artist and then on Tuesday he was snatching number one spots on charts across the world, while for Ed it was more obviously gradual, and as for Mark, he was just always hovering about.

Best New Artist:

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  • Tori Kelly
  • James Bay
  • Meghan Trainor
  • Sam Hunt
  • Courtney Barnett

I must admit that I’m a little bit disappointed with the selection of artists in this category as I am not entirely familiar with some of them. That is not to say that they do not deserve nominations, however I feel as though there were other artists who made more of a sonic splash in the past year and were more creative, unique and authentic. For example Alessia Cara, Bryson Tiller and Tinashe. Also, hasn’t Meghan Trainor been nominated for Grammys before this year? If so, why is she nominated for Best New Artist. Also, I don’t want to get into it too much, but do you mean to tell me, Grammy Academy, that there were no black artists or musicians of colour who have released music in the past year who you feel were worthy enough for a nod? It almost feels as if they went out of their way to find as many white artists eligible to nominate in this category. I mean, you have Meghan, who has had previous noms and therefore is not a new artist, then you have Sam Hunt and Courtney Barnett, who’s songs I have never heard. I have, on the other hand, heard Tori Kelly and James Bay’s music and I feel as though they are deserving of their nominations.

Best Urban Contemporary Album:

Lianne La Havas

  • The Internet – Ego Death
  • Kehlani – You Should Be Here
  • Lianne La Havas – Blood
  • Miguel – Wildheart
  • The Weeknd – Beauty Behind the Madness

This category also has my feathers ruffled because of a snub. A certain Miss Tinashe most definitely should have been included in this list, and I am not being partial because I am fan. Her Aquarius album was the embodiment of urban contemporary and was critically praised. It may not have sold tonnes of copies, but neither did any of these albums apart from The Weeknd. Her album was noteworthy and she had a breakthrough hit with 2 On. So I am baffled as to where her nomination was this year. But anyway, I’m not really a huge fan of anyone in this category. I am, however, proud of Lianne La Havas, as a British artist getting nominated. I liked her song What You Don’t Do which was released last year. Also, I’m not one of them, but I’ve noticed that Kehlani seems to have a large and growing fan base and she has been gaining traction this past year so good on her. I would be happy for either of the two to win this award.

Best Rap Song:

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  • Kanye West – All Day
  • Kendrick Lamar – Alright
  • Drake – Energy
  • Common/John Legend – Glory
  • Fetty Wap – Trap Queen

In my honest opinion these selections are pretty underwhelming. I appreciate All Day which grew on me a little later than most. Kanye really made a spectacle of the song at The Brits earlier this year and it was very generous of him to showcase British talent by inviting all of those grime artists on stage with him. Also, the message behind the song Glory by John and Common had a good social message but as far as I remember it was around at the time of last year’s Grammys and feels pretty old to have been nominated this year.

Best Rap Album:
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  • 2014 Forest Hills Drive – J. Cole
  • Compton – Dr. Dre
  • If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late – Drake
  • To Pimp a Butterfly – Kendrick Lamar
  • The Pinkprint – Nicki Minaj

Now this is a competitive category. Cole and Lamar released sombre, introspective and socially conscious albums, Dr Dre finally released a new album which his fans had been awaiting for over a decade, Drake did a Beyoncé and released a surprise mixtape which topped the charts, while Nicki made the world stop and then carry on, with Beyoncé, along with bringing social issues including racism, sexism and gender inequality to the forefront. It would be fantastic to see quality win over commercial value so it would be great to see Cole or Lamar to win. However, it would also be good to see a female win for Best Rap Album. However, I definitely think Kendrick has it in the bag.