It’s fair to say that the Grammys have made some bad decisions in their time, such as their widespread gender disparity.
Fortunately, the prestigious awards ceremony is starting to listen and act on some of their long-standing problems.
Photo – Gabriel Bouys/AFP via Getty Images
Yesterday (June 10th), The Grammys confirmed that their “urban” category will be replaced with “progressive R&B” after many requests.
This is a welcome shift to most. Allow me to briefly run you through the history of this call for change.
Earlier this year, Tyler The Creator called out the racist undertones of the urban category. “I don’t like that urban word. It’s just a politically correct way to say the N-word to me”. Billie Eilish spoke on the same issue after winning her own Grammys (yes, more than one). She stated the music industry shouldn’t “judge an artist off the way someone looks or the way someone dresses”. These two beloved musicians weren’t the only ones keen on a change.
The Black Music Coalition wrote an open letter to the giants of the music industry. The letter pushed for much-needed structural change, to combat racism. One key section specifically asked bosses to change “urban music” to “black music”. But wait, there’s more. Only last week, Republic Records, as well as LA A&R company Milk and Honey, announced their canning of the “urban” word.
So yeah, all of this on top of the worldwide protests fighting for racial equality really puts the pressure on. Fortunately, The Grammy’s have taken advice, learnt and acted. Goodbye “urban”, welcome “progressive R&B”.