The GRAMMYs to Rename All of Its "Urban" Categories

After public statements from Tyler, The Creator, Billie Eilish and Republic Records.

By
Music
29,148 Hypes 34 Comments

The GRAMMYs will stop using the term “urban” for next February’s 63rd annual installment. The move comes after notable artists like Tyler, The Creator and Billie Eilish spoke out against the term and The Recording Academy’s archaic category groupings. Per Variety, this announcement highlights a number of major changes coming with next year’s show with updates to the Best New Artist category, Latin, R&B, Rap and on overall overhaul of the Nominations Review Committees. For the first time, the guidelines book has been made available to the public.

Interim president and CEO Havey Mason Jr. told Variety, “It’s something we’ve been discussing for a couple of years, and the term has 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, so when our constituents brought that to us in the form of a proposal, we listened and voted to approve, as asked by the people in that community. “Progressive R&B” gives us a chance to lean more into the modern R&B and hybrid-style recordings and give us a little bit of flexibility in that category.”

This announcement comes less than a week after Billie Eilish took to social media to denounce the “urban” categorization, mirroring Tyler, the Creator’s statement after he won the GRAMMY Award for Best Rap Album for his largely experimental project IGOR, which was mostly devoid of rapping outside of a few guest appearances. “I have always hated categories,” Eilish said in a June 4 interview with British GQ. “I hate when people say, ‘Oh, you look like ‘blank.’ You sound like ‘blank.’ It was such a cool thing Tyler said. I agree with him about that term. Don’t judge an artist off the way someone looks or the way someone dresses. Wasn’t Lizzo in the Best R&B category that night? I mean, she’s more pop than I am.”

Tyler initially denounced the “urban” categorization during the actual GRAMMY Awards, telling CBS, “It sucks that whenever “we” – and I mean guys that look like me – do anything that’s genre-bending or that’s anything, they always put it in a rap or “urban” category which is – and I don’t like that “urban” word, it’s just a politically correct way to say the ‘N-word’ to me.”

Just last week Republic Records encouraged the rest of the music industry to follow their lead in cancelling the “urban” description across its artist roster. Check out some of the renamed categories below. One of the most noticeable changes comes in the “Best Rap/Sung Performance” category. That will now be called “Best Melodic Rap Performance” going forward, as The Recording Academy has finally recognized that often times rappers are also doing the singing on their own songs. Changes to the Best New Artist category include removing the restriction on number of recordings, something that was meant to help rappers, who often drop a prolific amount of work in their early years, not be unfairly left off the ballot.

Stay tuned for more updates on the ongoing GRAMMY Awards changes in the future. In more music news, Coachella 2020 and Lollapalooza 2020 have been officially cancelled.

Read Full Article

What to Read Next

Through The Lens: Robert LeBlanc
Arts 

Through The Lens: Robert LeBlanc

The LA-based photographer captures subcultures, rappers and slice-of-life visuals.

AMC Theaters Has Lost $2.2bn USD Due to COVID-19
Entertainment

AMC Theaters Has Lost $2.2bn USD Due to COVID-19

The world’s biggest cinema chain blames “truly unprecedented times.”

These Are the Top 10 Countries With the Fastest Internet Speeds
Tech

These Are the Top 10 Countries With the Fastest Internet Speeds

Mostly dominated by Asian and European countries.


Kylian Mbappé Keeps His Title as World's Most Valuable Football Player
Sports

Kylian Mbappé Keeps His Title as World's Most Valuable Football Player

With four English players also in the top five.

Norman Walsh Resurrects its Ensign Classic Running Sneaker For SS20
Footwear

Norman Walsh Resurrects its Ensign Classic Running Sneaker For SS20

Hand-crafted in the heart of Lancashire.

Bottega Veneta Unveils New Footwear Styles
Footwear

Bottega Veneta Unveils New Footwear Styles

New heavy-soled boots are landing soon.

More ▾
 
Subscribe to our Newsletter

Gain access to exclusive interviews with industry creatives, think pieces, trend forecasts, guides and more.

By subscribing, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Help us serve you better

We appreciate your support in allowing HYPEBEAST ads, where we can share contents from the latest fashion, to those culturally relevant. In adding HYPEBEAST to your ad blocker's whitelist, ads on our sites will show while you continue to browse.

Help Support Us

We need ads to keep the lights on and to continue providing free news to our readers. We’d appreciate your support by whitelisting HYPEBEAST on your ad blocker. That way you can keep reading all the great stories for free.

If you have already whitelisted us, simply refresh this page. To find out how to whitelist us, click the button below.

Back

Add Us to Whitelist

We appreciate your support in allowing HYPEBEAST ads. Most ad blockers have similar whitelisting steps and settings. If you need assistance, please contact us.

Adblock Plus

  1. Click on the red ABP icon in the upper right corner of your browser.
  2. Click “Enabled on this site” to disable ad blocking for the current site. In Firefox click “disable on HYPEBEAST”.
  3. Refresh the HYPEBEAST page that you were viewing.

Adblock

  1. Click the AdBlock hand icon.
  2. Click “Don’t run on pages on this domain”.
  3. A new “Don’t run AdBlock on…” dialog may be displayed in the middle of the screen.
  4. Move the “Site” slider to the right. After that, click “Exclude”.
  5. Refresh the HYPEBEAST page that you were viewing.

uBlock

  1. Click the uBlock icon.
  2. Click the large blue “power” button in the menu that appears to whitelist the current website.
  3. Reload the HYPEBEAST page that you were viewing.

Firefox Browser

Firefox Tracking Protection may activate our whitelist notice, which can be disabled temporarily for a browsing session by clicking the shield icon in the URL bar and following the instructions.

Disconnect

  1. Click the Disconnect icon.
  2. Click “Whitelist site”.
  3. Refresh the HYPEBEAST page that you were viewing.