In the wake of a Grammy awards show that dug deep into Politics, some made their voices heard about the direction the show took. Nikki Haley, UN Ambassador to the United States, voiced her displeasure over the "politicization" of music.

What is she talking about?

She could have been referring to Bono giving a shoutout to "sh**hole countries," a reference to crass remarks by President Trump to describe primarily African and Hispanic countries.

She was ostensibly not referring to singer-songwriter Joy Villa making an entrance on the red carpet with a "Make America Great Again" dress, though this was an act just as political as any other.One of the most obvious and most political segments of the night was a star-studded video featuring Hillary Clinton reading from Fire and Fury, Michael Wolff's exposé on the dysfunction of the Trump White House. This video would be a clear target for the kind of politicization Haley was referring to. But is it justified?

Politics as art

Contrary to Haley's tweet, politics and art have always been good friends. In fact, the politicization of art has led to deeply successful careers and world-changing work since time immemorial.

For instance, the hardship of slavery led to the creation of beautiful Black spirituals that are widely admired today, such as "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot," "Wade in the Water," and "Poor Wayfaring Stranger." These songs had a deep spiritual connection to the politics of their day.

In more modern contexts, we can look at the birth of black art produced during the Harlem Renaissance, like Langston Hughes' poem "Let America be America Again," published in Esquire Magazine in 1936.

In it, Hughes ruminates on the current position of black people in America and muses that America never was for them. In history, the Harlem Renaissance (the 1920s) is hailed as a time of new birth for the country, and a symbol of overturning existing class structures to create a more fair and just society.

We could also look to Spanish artists like Picasso and Dalí, whose work was transformed by the Spanish Civil War from 1936 to 1939.

One of Picasso's most famous works, La Guernica, is a depiction of the brutality brought upon a Basque village when it was bombed by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italian warplanes at the behest of Spanish Nationalists.

There are too many instances to count when artists have used their voices to contribute to the body politic. And as some pointed out to Haley, this happened just last year, when musicians Ted Nugent and Kid Rock posed for photographs in the Oval Office to show their support for the new president.

Haley seems to be suggesting that music is a blank slate in which artists are to bring all of our own ideas and that that's all it should be.

But that is not, how it is and it has never been, an accurate description of music. Music, as an art form, has always been a way of intentionally engaging with the world, as the artist sees fit.

Haley doesn't have to listen, but regardless, music and politics will remain good friends for a very long time.