Tyler, The Creator calls out Grammy Awards for pigeonholing black artists

The 62nd Annual Grammy Awards went down earlier this week and Tyler, The Creator took out the category for Best Rap Album for his 2019 release, IGOR.

However, in his post-Grammy’s speech, Tyler used the opportunity to address what he saw as prejudices within the award categorisations.

Tyler, The Creator has used his Grammy win to criticise the Awards for their pigeonholing of black artists in rap and urban categories.

Opening up in a post-award interview, Tyler described his frustrations surrounding the fact that black artists were predominantly relegated to rap and urban categories, seemingly unable to compete in broader categories like pop, even when their music was more befitting of that label.

With the release of IGOR last year, Tyler skyrocketed into the mainstream arena, with the album debuting at number 1 on the US Billboard 200 – marking his first US number one album.

Speaking in the interview he commented:

“It sucks that whenever we — and I mean guys that look like me — do anything that’s genre-bending .. they always put it in the rap or urban category. I don’t like that ‘urban’ word. 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? You know what I mean? Half of me feels like the rap nomination was a backhanded compliment. Like, ‘Oh, my little cousin wants to play the game. Let’s give him the unplugged controller so he can shut up and feel good about it.’ That’s what it felt like a bit.

“But another half of me is very grateful that the art that I make could be acknowledged on a level like this. When I don’t do the radio stuff. I’m not played in Target. I’m in a whole different world to what a lot of people here listen to.” 

You can watch Tyler’s post-Grammy speech below.

Elsewhere, the singer settled a feud with a Twitter user, who, nine years ago had tweeted that Tyler would never win a Grammy. Tyler reposted the 9-year-old tweet with the caption: “to tell you I got one,” in a rather joyous victory against the troll.