A Tribe Called Quest
's performance was done on the perfect platform last night. Performing mashups of classics and "We the People" alongside Busta Rhymes, Consequence, and Anderson .Paak, their politically-charged music wasn't merely preaching to the choir, it actually had a platform to have some impact.
The most powerful moment was during the middle of their set, when Busta Rhymes came out to join them and said, "I want to thank President Agent Orange for perpetuating all the evil that you've been perpetuating throughout the United States," and "I want to thank president agent orange for his unsuccessful attempt at the Muslim ban," before ATCQ literally broke down the wall they had set up on stage, letting people of all different religions and races through on to the stage, showing that we are definitely, the people.
At the end, ATCQ, Busta Rhymes, and Anderson.Paak, held up their fists to represent the Black Panthers. After the audience cheered, Q-Tip shouted "Resist! Resist! Resist!" to crowds of not only people in that room, but everybody who has or will be affected by Trump's policies all over.
It was a powerful message. Not just because of the performance, but also because of the people that were watching the Grammys; that is, older white people. The same people that voted for Trump. Having a performance like this right in their faces allows them to see the other side a bit more. That's certainly something we don't get in our everyday lives, where our Facebook feeds literally filter out opinions that we don't like, and it's easier than ever to avoid things that we don't disagree with. Having a performance like this helps more conservative people who aren't as affected by Trumps policies, see what kind of effect it's really having on people.
I'm afraid things like this are going to become even more rare as time goes on though. Even right now, I'm sure there are people in that conservative audience that are calling the Grammys "liberal propaganda" and will avoid it from now on. The current place we live in makes it easy to do that, and further place yourself into a bubble.
For now though, ATCQ had the most powerful political message of the night. That's something to be respected and celebrated.