Diddy Demands Respect for Hip Hop from the Recording Academy

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 25: Sean "Diddy" Combs speaks onstage during the Pre-GRAMMY Gala and GRAMMY Salute to Industry Icons Honoring Sean "Diddy" Combs on January 25, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs held no punches as he delivered his acceptance speech for the Industry Icons Award at Clive Davis and the Recording Academy pre-GRAMMY gala. During his 40 minute speech, he talked about the GRAMMYS lack of respect for Hip-Hop, and demanded that they include more diversity and transparency.

The statement caught everyone in the Beverly Hilton Hotel by surprise, but Combs revealed that he’d been conflicted about receiving the award in the days following up to the gala because of the ‘elephant in the room’. He makes it clear in his speech that his remarks were being spoken with ‘love’ and not to bash the Academy, but he believes it’s time for them to get it right.

“I’m officially starting the clock,” he stated. “You’ve got 365 days to get this sh-t together. We need transparency, we need diversity. They’re [the Academy] a non-profit organization that’s supposed to protect the welfare of the musical community. But it’s going to take all of us to get this done. It’s going to take the artists and executives to recognize their power. So sign me up. I’m here to help make a difference and help us have a positive outcome.”

Before wrapping up his speech Combs dedicated his Industry Icon Award to Beyoncé (Lemonade), Kanye West (Graduation), Nas (Illmatic) and other artists with projects that helped positively move the music culture but was snubbed by GRAMMYS over the years.

Check out the clip of the full speech below