Everybody Black: 2018 GRAMMY Awards

January 30, 2018


Issa Rae set the tone for the 2018 awards season when she coyly declared "I'm rooting for everybody Black," after a reporter asked who she was rooting for at the 2017 Emmy Awards red carpet. This phrase has inspired me to recap my favorite awards shows with my own commentary of happenings at each show and roundup a collective list of all of the Black winners of the night.


From the moment the nominees were announced, the 2018 GRAMMY Award Show was anticipated to be the Black music renaissance similar to the Black film renaissance that ensued during the 2017 Academy Awards. We hoped to end the night bopping away celebrating wins by SZA, JAY-Z and Kendrick Lamar. The Recording Academy voters, however, had other plans as our faves left empty-handed, including SZA and JAY-Z.


Bruno Mars swept the awards show taking home trophies for all seven of the categories he was

nominated for. Somehow, this has caused quite an uproar on Black Twitter as many of our people consider Bruno to be an appropriator of Black culture despite his constant praise and reverence of Black artists who have influenced his own artistry. In my eyes, Bruno is welcome to the cookout - especially after he and Cardi B delivered a high-energy, In Living Color inspired performance of the Finesse remix.


My favorite performance of the evening, though, goes to Wild Thoughts performed by DJ Khaled, Rhianna and Bryson Tiller. Being a Miami native, I was immediately drawn in to the the vintage Art Deco set and styling. There were a few cultural highlights that Black Twitter helped to quickly identify, such as the "Gwara Gwara" South African dance trend. My fave dance moment was when the trio of ladies wearing big red hats hit a synchronized booty bounce as Bryson sang behind them. 


Kendrick Lamar's opening performance proved why he was named Rolling Stone's "Best Rapper Alive." The performance was - for lack of a better word - DAMN!  K.Dot gave us brilliant imagery and choreography throughout the performance with surprise appearances by Dave Chappelle and U2. I hope SZA took notes because her overall performance was a bust for me.


The most soulful of the night was definitely Childish Gambino's performance of Terrified. He made me sit up in my chair and pay full attention to his satellite stage-set performance after a chaotically dull main stage performance of Despacito. The way Childish Gambino two-stepped in a circle fully locked into his own groove made me jump up and hit my own step. In true Disney fashion, the performance was closed out with a duet by the two Simbas with the young actor JD McCrary, who plays "Young Simba" alongside Gambino who's playing Adult Simba in the upcoming Lion King live action movie.


While, the 2018 Grammy Awards show was quite the extravaganza that we'd all hoped for, I walked away satisfied by what we did get out of the industry staple event. 


Here's a list of #EverybodyBlack who took home an award:




Record Of The Year

WINNER: "24K Magic" - Bruno Mars

Album Of The Year

WINNER: 24K Magic - Bruno Mars

Song Of The Year

WINNER: "That's What I Like" - Christopher Brody Brown, James Fauntleroy, Philip Lawrence, Bruno Mars, Ray Charles McCullough II, Jeremy Reeves, Ray Romulus & Jonathan Yip, songwriters


Best R&B Performance

WINNER: "That's What I Like" – Bruno Mars

Best Traditional R&B Performance

WINNER: "Redbone" – Childish Gambino

Best R&B Song

WINNER: "That's What I Like" - Christopher Brody Brown, James Fauntleroy, Philip Lawrence, Bruno Mars, Ray Charles McCullough II, Jeremy Reeves, Ray Romulus & Jonathan Yip, songwriters 

Best Urban Contemporary Album

WINNER: Starboy – The Weeknd

Best R&B Album

WINNER: 24K Magic – Bruno Mars


Best Rap Performance

WINNER: "HUMBLE." – Kendrick Lamar

Best Rap/Sung Performance

WINNER: "LOYALTY." - Kendrick Lamar Featuring Rihanna

Best Rap Song

WINNER: "HUMBLE." - Kendrick Lamar

Best Rap Album

WINNER: DAMN. - Kendrick Lamar



Best Jazz Vocal Album

WINNER Dreams And Daggers - Cécile McLorin Salvant


WINNER Rebirth - Billy Childs

Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album

WINNER Bringin' It - Christian McBride Big Band



Best Gospel Performance/Song

WINNER "Never Have To Be Alone" - CeCe Winans; Dwan Hill & Alvin Love III, songwriters

Best Gospel Album

WINNER Let Them Fall In Love - CeCe Winans



Best American Roots Performance

WINNER "Killer Diller Blues" - Alabama Shakes


Best Contemporary Blues Album

WINNER TajMo - Taj Mahal & Keb' Mo'



Best Reggae Album

WINNER Stony Hill - Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley


Best World Music Album

WINNER Shaka Zulu Revisited: 30th Anniversary Celebration - Ladysmith Black Mambazo 



Best Comedy Album

WINNER The Age Of Spin & Deep In The Heart Of Texas - Dave Chappelle


Best Album Notes

WINNER Live At The Whisky A Go Go: The Complete Recordings - Lynell George, album notes writer (Otis Redding)


Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical

WINNER 24K Magic - Serban Ghenea, John Hanes & Charles Moniz, engineers; Tom Coyne, mastering engineer (Bruno Mars)



Best Music Video

WINNER "Humble." - Kendrick Lamar (The Little Homies & Dave Meyers, video directors; Jason Baum, Dave Free, Jamie Rabineau, Nathan K. Scherrer & Anthony Tiffith, video producers)



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