Grammys to drop the term 'urban' from awards categories

Artists including Tyler, the Creator have previously criticised the term

Roisin O'Connor
Wednesday 10 June 2020 22:33
Comments
Tyler the Creator calls out the Grammys for racism in their awards categories

The Recording Academy will stop using the term “urban” in awards categories at the Grammys, it has been announced, as part of the organisation’s efforts to launch “a new chapter” in its history.

The prize for Best Urban Contemporary album will be renamed Best Progressive R&B Album as part of changes being made ahead of next year’s ceremony.

In an interview with Variety, the Recording Academy’s interim president and CEO, Harvey Mason Jr, said the word had been “a hot button for a while”.

“A lot of creators and people in that genre didn’t like that description and felt it pigeonholed certain styles of music,” he said.

This year, Tyler, the Creator was among the artists to call out the category and say he was torn between winning an award and the fact he disliked the term “urban”.

“I’m half and half on it,” he said. “On the one side I am very grateful that what I made can be acknowledged in a world like this… but it sucks that whenever we, and I mean guys that look like me, do anything that’s genre-bending or anything, they always put it in a rap or urban category.”

“And I don’t like that ‘urban’ word,” he added. “It’s just a politically correct way to say the n-word, to me. So when I hear that, I’m just like, why can’t we just be in pop? So I felt like – half of me feels like the rap nomination was a backhanded compliment.”

The Recording Academy said it had made the changes to ensure its awards were “inclusive and [reflected] the current state of the music industry”.

Other changes at the Grammys include renaming Best Rap/Sung Performance as Best Melodic Rap Performance “to represent the inclusivity of the growing hybrid performance trends within the rap genre” by artists such as Drake and Post Malone.

Enjoy unlimited access to 70 million ad-free songs and podcasts with Amazon Music Sign up now for a 30-day free trial

Sign up

The word urban has been added to the award for Best Latin Pop Album, which will henceforth be known as Best Latin Pop or Urban Album.

Organisers said this change was made in order to “migrate the genres of Latin urban and represent the current state and prominent representation in the Latin urban genres”.

Republic Records, home to stars including Drake, Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande, recently made the announcement that it would no longer use “urban” to describe its departments or artists.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in