J. Holiday, the R&B singer responsible for the 2007 hit single “Bed,” has a theory about modern R&B. He believes that Black men are “losing” to Black women in the genre. He blames Beyonce, Cardi B, and SZA, among others, for singing about heartbreak, claiming that their musical subject matter has somehow disadvantaged himself and other Black men.
In a profanity-laced tirade posted to his Instagram, the former radio fixture criticized the Grammy Awards for recognizing women’s works, claiming, “the Black men still losing to the women,” and that he won’t let his daughters listen to the above-mentioned female artists.
“Beyonce, Cardi B, SZA, all y’all motherf*ckers, stop using that f*cking pain to make it OK to say some bullsh*t on your record and get nominated for a Grammy for going through some bullsh*t, because so have I as a Black motherf*cking man,” he rants. Black men, he says, “don’t swing [their] d—ks around” and “don’t do all this bulls*t to be seen,” which is questionable, at best. He does try to leaven the vitriol by pointing out, “No disrespect, I was raised by a woman, I have two older sisters, man, I have absolute, all respect for Black women. But with that being said, understand this, man: Black men, African-American men, men from the hood, we go through everything to make sure that who we care about are taken care of.”
Whatever his actual grievance, it seems pretty shortsighted of him to censure women for drawing on their life experience when Childish Gambino, Kendrick Lamar, and Jay-Z have all been nominated for Album Of The Year at the 2018 Grammy Awards for mining relationships and heartbreak to craft their albums. Beyonce didn’t even release an album to be nominated for in 2017, and if she had, what else would he expect her to sing about? Holiday’s own albums were inspired by relationship woes and the ups-and-downs of love, which seems pretty hypocritical of him.
By the way, there are no Black women’s albums nominated for that award and only one — Ledisi — for Best R&B Album. While women have seen plenty of nominations in former years, so have men, and overall, the actual wins have been fairly balanced over time.
If J. Holiday is feeling underappreciated by The Recording Academy, it may have something to do with the fact that his last hit was over ten years ago or that he hasn’t released an album since 2014’s Guilty Conscience. If he’s just doing this for attention, he may soon come to regret it, as becoming better known for publicity stunts than music releases has been out of vogue for quite some time.