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Lenny Kravitz Says He's Frustrated That He Continues To Get Overlooked By Black Media

Music legend Lenny Kravitz isn't feeling the love from the black community.

via: Vibe

In a new interview with Esquire, the “American Woman” rocker admitted, “To this day, I have not been invited to a BET thing or a Source Awards thing. And it’s like, here is a Black artist who has reintroduced many Black art forms, who has broken down barriers—just like those that came before me broke down, that is positive. And they don’t have anything to say about it?”

Although the 59-year-old says, “I’m not here for the accolades, I’m here for the experience,” he still voiced curiosity about why his success, “is not celebrated by the folks who run those publications or organizations.” He added, “I have been that dream and example of what a Black artist can do.” 

Apparently, Kravitz has always battled with support from both Black and White media.

In his 2001 VIBE cover story, he recalled, “I took my demo around and started hearing the whole thing about how my music wasn’t Black enough, wasn’t the right color. When I first came out, a lot of the rock press was just hatin’. A lot of these journalists had been around in the ’60’s and felt like it was their sacred ground, and how dare anyone f**k with their sacred ground.”

Speaking to how his style may have threatened the direction that Rock & Roll was headed in, he added, “I was really one of the first guys to bring back the vintage gear in the ’80’s, when everything was about big ‘Sos tech-nology, big triggered drums, and reverbs, and Power Station sounds. I stripped back to this organic sound, and they gave me a lotta sh*t. A whole lotta sh*t.”

However, Kravitz has proven himself to be more than a Black rockstar. He’s also Reggae, R&B, Funk and Soul. Songs like, “I Belong To You” “Show Me Your Soul,” and “It Ain’t Over Til It’s Over” all attest to his versatility. Even Jay-Z has given him props for influencing rappers like Tyler, The Creator.

Besides scoring four Grammy awards — amongst many other accolades — the native-New Yorker has gone beyond stages and recording booths. Kravitz’s films like The Hunger Games, Precious, The Butler and more, have all earned him nominations, as he once admitted that the recognition of his success would come with time.

“I think with time comes this sense of change,” he once said. “I read these articles now about how I’m great and I’ve changed. But I’m doing the same sh*t now I’ve been doing. I write about different things, but ain’t nothing changed, except now they’re ready to accept it.”

Read Lenny Kravitz’s cover story with Esquire in its entirety here.

Even though black people invented rock & roll, it's unfortunate that Lenny doesn't get invited to black spaces, or black award shows. Networks like BET only gatekeep for certain types of black people: The Tyler Perry church lady types, the Sexyyred/Blueface types, and the Cliff & Claire Huxtable/Spellman College types.

I feel that all aspects of the black community should be celebrated, and not the parts the media only wants to highlight.

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