Back at the beginning of the year, Tyler took home the award for Best Rap Album and criticized the awards organization for using the phrase “urban” saying “it’s just a politically correct way to say the n-word to me.”
After accepting his award, Tyler, The Creator told reporters backstage he was grateful for winning but felt it was a backhanded compliment.
“I’m very grateful that what I made could just be acknowledged in a world like this,” he told reporters backstage. “But, also, it sucks that whenever we – and I mean guys that look like me – do anything that’s genre-bending, they always put it in a ‘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. Why can’t we just be in pop?”
Now, in a recent interview with GQ Billie Eilish is backing the musician up for his comments about the award category titles.
In the interview, Billie Eilish says “I have always hated categories,” in response to being asked about Tyler’s comments. She then elaborates on being labeled in various ways and how it diminishes her work.
“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,” says Eilish.
“Look, if I wasn’t white I would probably be in ‘rap’. Why? They just judge from what you look like and what they know. I think that is weird. The world wants to put you into a box; I’ve had it my whole career. Just because I am a white teenage female I am pop. Where am I pop? What part of my music sounds like pop?”
“Effective immediately,” the statement reads. “Republic Records will remove ‘urban’ from our verbiage in describing departments, employee titles and music genres. 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industry to follow suit as it is important to shape the future of what we want it to look like and not adhere to the outdated structures of the past.”
— Republic Records (@RepublicRecords) June 5, 2020
To show support through donations, connect with grassroots campaigns and obtain resources for allies, please refer to the links below.
Help the family of George Floyd here.
Fight for Breonna Taylor here.
Help the family of Ahmaud Arbery here.
To sign petitions for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and more, click here.
Donate to one or more community bail funds for protesters here.
Click here for more resources for protestors, including pro-bono lawyers.
Visit Movement For Black Lives for additional ways you can help the cause.
Click here to connect with leaders building grassroots campaigns.
Here are some anti-racism resources for allies who want to learn more.For other ways to donate, please head here.