Highlights from the 2017 Billboard awards filled my timeline last month and although I didn't watch, I didn't feel like I missed a thing.
The biggest highlight of course, was Drake's record breaking 13 wins in one night.
As I explored my explore page, I couldn't help but notice the amount of hateful comments and memes going around in response to Drake's achievements.
I usually gloss over negativity on the internet, as real life has enough for me, but this one I couldn't shrug off.
So you can better understand my perspective... think of a different time... the 1930's to be exact.
For those who don't know or remember, the Great Depression didn't end until 1939. Image being black at that time... being an entertainer.... being a black entertainer...
Before Drake, there were many, specifically Lincoln Perry and Hattie McDaniel who despite the odds against them had history making careers during the 1930's.
Do you know their stories? Probably not.
Without getting into specifics or going any further than career highlights, history only tells us that Lincoln Perry, more widely known as Stepin Fetchit was the first black movie star and Hattie McDaniel was the first black actor to win an Oscar.
If you dig a little deeper beyond the surface, the majority of what you will find is criticism on the dimwitted characters Perry played or how McDaniel's role helped to perpetuate the 'mammy' sterotype.
That's only if you dig deeper.
For the most part, when it's all said and done, we only really remember the highlights.
I thought of them both as I scrolled through the hate filled Drake comments, posts, and criticism and thought of the wasted energy being put into discrediting his accomplishments.
I understand the whole 'ghostwriter' allegations and the seriousness of it all, however, this is about the Billboard charts.
Drake didn't win a best writing award that night but he has definitively dominated the charts and no ones personal feelings can negate that fact.
History will highlight his accomplishments and the criticism will only be a footnote.
I'm not justifying the career choices of either entertainer, instead I'm choosing to focus on what seems to often be overlooked, and that's the doors that were and will be opened because of them for the black artist and entertainers to come.
Award shows are nothing new, but inclusion is...
I remember when Rap/HipHop artist were far and few between when it came to commercial success.
Regardless of how big their year was, the awards given to these categories weren't even aired on television.
Hiphop went from not being included to being included but excluded from the main event to being THEE main event.
On May 21st 2017, Drake, an artist classified as a rapper, swept the Billboard awards.
When he won... HipHop won... WE won.
Now I am a Drake fan, but I don't think my opinion here is bias. I simply see a bigger picture... when Lincoln Perry and Hattie McDaniel won, WE won and when Drake wins... WE win.