Our Reactions From Last Night’s 65th Grammy Awards

A deserved Tems win, a giant-sized snub, Hip-Hop's wonderful moment and other talking points.

The Grammy Awards happens once every year but the conversation lingers. Artists on diverse levels of popularity and artistry get to share the same stage, famous and infamous wins are recorded, and for many the attention on their wins or misses morphed into a discussion of the Recording Academy’s ethos as award organisers. Last night, the 65th Grammy Awards took place in Los Angeles’ Crypto.com Arena, attracting a wide cast of music professionals. While some had eyes on red-carpet looks and heart-warming camaraderie between their beloved superstars, every moment was decidedly orchestrated to serve as backdrop to the ultimate moment of announcing the winners of the several categories. 

As we’ve known of the Grammys, the night combined thoughtful presentations such as the tribute to ex-Migos rapper Takeoff and other late industry professionals with some head-wracking decisions which massively went against popular expectation. In all, the “biggest night in music” proved to be quite the online sensation, reeling in comments from around the world even in places where people were usually tucked in bed during its midnight-held (as it was in West Africa) event. Here we give our takes on some of the conversations we expect will last the longest from this particular Grammy night.  


It’s been 50 years since Hip-Hop’s rise and its rapid evolution has birthed various sub-genres with new names continuously etched in the books. What once started as a voice for the oppressed has morphed from tough riveting bars and accommodated melodic numbers. Last night, the Grammy’s Hip-Hop’s 50th anniversary and it was nothing short of pomp and parade. With an elite performance line up from Hip-Hop’s greatest acts including: Missy Elliot, Eminem and even Lil Uzi Vert adorned the stage reliving history through the years. We can’t fail to obsess over Jay-Z’s performance on “God Did.” Despite the celebration, it was noted the Grammy’s snubbed its founder Kool Herc, something quite popular with the Academy as it has previously been rocked with various accusations that saw international stars such as Drake and Silk Sonic decline to submit any of their projects for consideration.

Earlier this year, when the Hip Hop category nominations were announced, Hip-Hop felt failed with average rappers getting nominations. Once again, it showed the power of music listenership and Kendrick Lamar owned the night taking three out of eight categories he was nominated for, while also winning “Best Rap Category.” I thought it was quite predictable considering its only worthwhile contender would be ‘It’s Almost Dry.’  Despite gunning for Pusha T, Kendrick Lamar deserved the win. Tems earned her first Grammy with Future’s “Wait For U” featuring Drake for Best Melodic Rap Performance. With these awards, I believe Hip-Hop won. 

Tela Wangeci


Beyoncé has for many years maintained GOAT status but last night, she broke a new record. At the awards ceremony, she walked home with four Grammy awards, becoming the artist with the most Grammys (32  Grammys). While Beyoncé was also in the category for Album of the year, Harry Styles however was awarded in this category last night. We all know that Album of the Year is a very important category to anyone slightly interested in the Grammys. ‘Renaissance’  is a deep and affectionate dive into Black and queer dance culture, and is the most experimental body of work to come out in 2022. 

Every year Beyoncé releases a new album, she brings forward a different perspective and rewrites the rules every single time but for every time she has lost in the category AOTY, the body of work in question has always been up more than worth its salt. In my opinion, ‘Renaissance’ should have won over Harry Styles’ album ‘Harry’s House.’ That being said, a big congratulations to everyone nominated in the category; AOTY is one of the most important categories at any award show and every album nominated simply deserved the nomination.

Wonu Osikoya


It’s easy to forget Tems’ released “Looku Looku” just four years ago. Since that record caught on among Nigeria’s alternative audiences, the musician has skyrocket into a global superstar. This year, she’s been on multiple franchises across entertainment, scoring an Oscar nomination for lending her pen to Rihanna’s “Lift Me Up” off ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’. With a BET and other relevant awards in her locker, a Grammy Awards wasn’t a distant idea.

She earned that honour with “Wait For U,” the Future and Drake collab which had her distinct vocals from “Higher” sampled all over the song. Considering the category was Best Melodic Rap, it’s quite easy to say Tems carried both rappers to glory, especially since she’s been welcomed into the American R&B fold as one of theirs. At the backstage, Tems was seen talking with American stars like Mary J. Blige (who wanted a picture) and DJ Khaled who professed to being her biggest fan. All this gives a glimpse into the moment Tems is having, and with talks of her debut album dropping this year, the Grammy seems like a stepping stone into greater acclaim. For creatives in the continent, no doubt this has stacked a burning battery to their determination. If Tems can rule the world, so could they, many would probably be thinking.

Emmanuel Esomnofu


American actress Viola Davis’ audio recording of her 2022 memoir Finding Me won the Best Spoken Word Or Non-Musical Album category, making her the 18th person to achieve the EGOT, as she joins an illustrious list that includes Whoopi Goldberg, John Legend and Jennifer Hudson. EGOT represents the four most prestigious awards in the American entertainment industry: the Emmy, the Grammy, the Oscar, and the Tony. The EGOT is renowned as the biggest symbol of success in the entertainment industry and artists who get the EGOT are revered as some of the bests in television, recording, film, and Broadway theatre.

Davis won an Emmy in 2015 for her role as Annalise Keating in the TV series How to Get Away with Murder, won a Tony in 2010 for her role as Rose Lee Maxson in the Broadway revival of August Wilson’s play Fences and won an Oscar in 2016 in the same role as Rose Lee Maxson in the film adaptation of Wilson’s Fences. In her memoir, which TIME referred to as an “act of finding herself,” Davis bares her soul on the pages, narrating her tumultuous childhood as well as her challenges and successes in adulthood. Her Grammy win also puts her memoir in the same bracket as those of Barack Obama’s Dreams from My Father & The Audacity of Hope and Michelle Obama’s Becoming—all three won the category in 2006, 2008 and 2020 respectively. Davis’ win is a crowning moment for a dedicated actor and entertainer who didn’t allow the hurdles of life to halt her march toward excellence. 

Uzoma Ihejirika


Going into Sunday night with two nominations, many would have expected Burna Boy to clinch at least one of those. In its category “Last Last” was surely the most popular and had its unique vibe going for it, but clearly the Academy had other plans. It went rather to the Deep House-tinged “Bayethe” by Nomcebo Zikode, Zakes Bantwini and Wouter Kellaman, a decision which sparked unsavoury comments about the song’s quality. This shows the implicit superiority Nigerian listeners showcase over the sounds of other African countries, even though their knowledge of those genres are shockingly limited. If anything, “Last Last” would have been a better fit in the pop categories, seeing how the Academy consistently demonstrates a certain ‘taste’ in their Global/World Music selections over the years. 

In the category of Best Global Album, I wasn’t expecting Burna Boy to win that to be honest. The album had no cohesive narrative and some sonic choices seemed to pander too much to the aforementioned Grammy taste—presenting the basics of African cultures as an exotic grandeur. Masa Takumi’s ‘Sakura’ by contrast blended Japanese folk with futuristic engineering. Alive and contextual, the album brims with originality, which isn’t something we cannot say for Damini. Burna has obviously made better projects and returning to the drawing board, it’d be great to see him take off the saviour persona in favour of the rawness and vulnerability we fell in love with. For now, Nigerians should seek context and understand the music a little better before scampering to offer hot takes.