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White-Guy Group SOJA Wins Grammy for Best Reggae Album

White-Guy Group SOJA Wins Grammy for Best Reggae Album
White-Guy Group SOJA Wins Grammy for Best Reggae Album

Image: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Photographs

The Grammys still left viewers with substantially to think about very last night time — which include puzzling products this sort of as Justin Bieber’s clown-shoe Crocs and his bleepy effectiveness of “Peaches” and the issue of what it means to be a “Hip-Hop Fashion Designer.” Also what is “SOJA”? A partial response to that last one particular emerged prior to the formal broadcast commenced when a troupe of statement hats marched onstage to acquire the award for Very best Reggae Album — stirring chagrin and confusion among a lot of reggae fans.

SOJA (an acronym for “Soldiers of Jah Army”) is an eight-member outfit made up mainly of white fellas it’s the very first time this sort of a group has taken home this honor. According to DancehallMag, final night’s ceremony marked the third time a non-Jamaican artist has won Ideal Reggae Album. (Jamaica is the birthplace of the style.) Guess stories that this ensemble defeat 5 Jamaican nominees: Sean Paul, Spice, Gramps Morgan, Etana, and Jesse Royal. The customers of SOJA, meanwhile, come mainly from Virginia. They have been building new music considering the fact that 1997, but they only visited Jamaica for the first time in 2015 (for each Dancehall Mag). SOJA won the Grammy for its seventh studio album, Natural beauty in the Silence. According to guide singer Jacob Hemphill, “Starting our reggae band was form of our aspiration and the only detail we desired to do” when the bandmates ended up expanding up, “then a person working day people commenced coming to the displays.” Other customers of the group thanked “the founding fathers of reggae” and “the island of Jamaica” for their inspiration, including: “Give thanks. One particular love.”

On the internet, the reaction to SOJA’s earn mainly boiled down to “What?” and also “Who?” There’s the appropriation component — “One factor yt ppl gon do is colonize, suitable tf outta ppl society, claim it as their possess and gain the fuck outta it. Soja winnin ideal Reggae album is a fucking insult,” as 1 Twitter person put it — but looking at the Grammys’ extended background of snubbing Black artists, that is possibly not the most stunning aspect of the SOJA upset. A lot of reggae admirers appeared to have listened to of the band for the to start with time when its associates took the stage. A good variety of folks now seem to be material to take that this clip of Andy Samberg in white-dude dreads is SOJA. Some are saying that, actually, this is SOJA:

Still others are reporting that, obtaining listened to the profitable album, they simply cannot see how it gained a Grammy. “Incredibly hot rubbish” is just one descriptor that sticks in the brain and, listen, I are unable to give an viewpoint possibly way. I am basically begging Chet Hanks and his brethren to prevent it with the fake Jamaican patois.