Written By Shanelle Genai
Respected hip-hop journalist Dee Barnes is speaking out following the 66th annual Grammy Awards that saw rapper Jay-Z take home the Dr. Dre Global Impact Award.
For context, the inaugural award kicked off on 2022 with its first recipient being Dre. Dre himself and seeks to honor artists who have used their influence and platform to give back in areas outside of music. That can definitely be said for both Dre and Jay. But folks may have forgotten, especially as it relates to Dee, is that in 1991, “The Chronic” rapper was fined $2,500, given two years probation, and ordered to do over 200 hours of community service after he assaulted media personality Dee Barnes.
As previously reported by The Root, Dee said that “Dre picked her up” and “began slamming her face and the right side of her body repeatedly against a wall near the stairway” after the rapper approached her about an interview she did with Ice Cube in which Dre felt he was bad-mouthed by Cube. Barnes then went on to describe how Dre repeatedly kicked her in the ribs and punched her in the head. Dre has since apologized.
However, that doesn’t mean the sting of his assault and the alleged string of assaults allegedly done at the hands Dre aren’t still felt by Dee and other women who have since come forward with their own sad stories of alleged abuse. And that’s exactly why Dee spoke out in 2023 against the Grammys Global Impact Award, saying that it was “named after an abuser,” to Rolling Stone.
Now, in an all new statements via her personal X/Twitter account, Dee is once again calling out the institution for their decision:
“The @RecordingAcad does not care about #ViolenceAgainstWomen. #JayZ received an award named after an abuser and defended his wife in his speech while his daughter stood by his side. #Grammys 2024.” While many assumed that to be a dig at both Dre and Jay, in later replies, Dee made it very clear that she approved of both Jay receiving the award, his speech, and the symbolism behind it all. She described his speech as a necessary “call out” and said that it “gave what it needed to give.” However in subsequent likes, she still (rightfully) questioned why the Recording Academy would do such a thing in the first place.