The Lifestyle

Was Beyoncé’s “Sorry” Calling the Grammys Out for 2015 AOTY Snub?

As a loyal member of the Beyhive, I, like many, am still seething about the results from this year’s Grammy Award Ceremony. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of the British songstress Adele.  I often find her lyrics to be emotionally impactful and her voice to be an amazing rarity in today’s music industry.  With that said, there is no way that 25 was better than the cultural phenomenon Lemonade. Heck, Adele herself even admitted that.

So while I could use this time to rattle off all the reasons why the Grammys again got it wrong, or explain why Kanye West was right about mainstream awarding ceremonies asking black artists to perform for TV ratings but not acknowledging their accomplishments, I won’t.  What I will do instead is talk about a theory I recently developed about a song on Beyoncé’s sixth studio album. “Sorry.”

For you to fully understand where I am going, let’s go back to the 2015 Grammy Award Ceremony where many felt Beyoncé’s Beyoncé was snubbed for Album of the Year. Despite it revolutionizing how artists release their albums, despite it breaking records with absolutely no beforehand promo, and despite it being the first visual album of it’s kind, it was essentially shut out in the main Grammy categories.  Unfortunately, the utter shock of that year’s outcome was not the first time that Beyoncé was “snubbed.”  Heck, her best vocal album to date, 4, barely garnered any nominations.  And before anyone starts talking about how many Grammys she already has, let me note that only one of them is from a top category. So it’s understandable that she would feel in many ways disrespected by an awards ceremony that continually uses her name to draw viewership.  Given we’re talking about the Queen Bey here, she is not one to vent her frustrations by ranting and raving in interviews. Her clap back game is strong, yet very subtle.  Cue “Sorry.”

Despite having seen the video for “Sorry” a dozen times, and listened to the song over a hundred times, it wasn’t until after Sunday’s ceremony that I thought the song was about more than infidelity in relationships. Indirectly, I think this song is about the Grammys and her loss in 2015.  Just hear me out before you roll your eyes. I have a solid theory.

Let’s start with the song’s chorus:

 

Sorry, I ain’t sorry
Sorry, I ain’t sorry
I ain’t sorry
Nigga nah
Sorry, I ain’t sorry
Sorry, I ain’t sorry
I ain’t sorry

This most definitely can be applicable to the Grammy committee.  Going back to her album 4, Beyoncé has been making music that highlights her Black pride, her southern roots, and love for r&b.  She has been rather unapologetic for that as well.  After I Am… Sasha Fierce, many in the industry tried to place her in a pop genre box, and she came back with preceding albums that seemed to roar “I don’t think so.”  And given how r&b heavy Beyoncé was, and grown and sexy the visuals were, plus the clap back anthem “Bow down/ Flawless”, she let it be known this black woman was in charge of her career, not the powers that be in the industry.  Some people didn’t like that, which may have led to a few less votes for Album of the Year.  The chorus in “Sorry” makes it clear to me she’s not sorry for celebrating her blackness and pushing the envelope in mainstream when it came to her previous studio release.

Now onto verse 1.  There she sings:

He trying to roll me up, I ain’t picking up

Headed to the club, I ain’t thinking ’bout you

Me and my ladies sip my D’USSÉ cup

I don’t give a fuck, chucking my deuces up

Suck on my balls, pause, I had enough

I ain’t thinking ’bout you

I ain’t thinking ’bout

Could this be about a man?  Well clearly. But it also could be about producers of the Grammys trying to smooth things over with Beyoncé with kind words and empty gestures after her 2015 loss.  They know for her not to attend their future broadcastings would be a huge blow to their ratings.  Given the award show’s lack luster history with celebrating black artists, I’m sure she must have thought about not attending future shows after her first visual album didn’t win in a top category.  And let’s not forget last year’s broadcast.  They kept advertising that Beyoncé would be there to keep viewers.  However, she didn’t come until the very end.  She didn’t even sit in the audience or walk the carpet.  It was like she didn’t want to be there, but gave in to the Grammy producers’ phone calls and pleading.

Skipping down to the line that best supports my theory:

He only want me when I’m not there

He better call Becky with the good hair

He better call Becky with the good hair

 

Simply put, I interpret the last lyrics here to be her advising the Grammy committee and producers to call folks like Beck (NO SHADE) to headline your show if you’re going to award them and gloss over her and other minority artists.

Anywho, I’m sure many people reading this may say I’m reaching in my theory, and I completely understand where they are coming from.  However, I’ll remind you all that Beyoncé is the master of hint dropping and subtleties.  Let her Instagram post of her holding a lemon serve as Exhibit A.   Only months later did we know that post was signaling the upcoming release of Lemonade.

 And allow me to point out Exhibit B, a more recent post of her pregnant flipping the double bird shortly after the Grammys. This second exhibit is less of a signal of a future album, and more of a subtle jab at her latest slap in the face.  All I’m saying, is think about my theory.  It’s not that crazy.

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