Republic Records have banned the use of the word “urban” within the label, and has encouraged other companies throughout the industry to do the same. This has been into increasing criticism against the term, as many view the term as a “catch all” phrase for music performed by predominantly Black performers.
“We encourage the rest of the music industry to follow suit as it is important to shape the future of what we want it to look like, and not adhere to the outdated structures of the past,” a post on the group’s Instagram reads.
The phrase originated back in 1970, when Black New York DJ Frankie Crocker coined the phrase “urban contemporary,” later shortened to “urban.” Prominent artists such as Tyler, The Creator have criticized the use of that term in the past, with the rapper calling the phrase a “politically-correct n-word.”
“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,” the rapper explained during a post–Grammy appearance, following his album IGOR’s win for Best Rap Album. I don’t like that ‘urban’ word — it’s just a politically correct way to say the n-word to me.”
This also follow the recent $25 million donation made by its parent company Universal Music Group (UMG). Republic is one of the more prominent labels, hosting numerous prominent artists including Ariana Grande, The Weeknd and Taylor Swift, who have all called support for the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement.
This also follows an industry wide “blackout,” in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movements and protests across the country following the death of George Floyd.
Check out the post below:
View this post on Instagram