Republic Records — home of artists like The Weeknd, James Blake, Taylor Swift, and Ariana Grande — has announced its binning its ‘urban’ genre category, amid the Black Lives Matter movement.
The tag has historically been used as an umbrella term encompassing hip-hop, R&B and other music pioneered by black artists, and the team at Republic reckons it’s time it went in the bin.
“Effective immediately, Republic Records will remove ‘Urban’ from our verbiage in describing departments, employee titles and music genres,” they wrote in a statement on social media.
“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industry to follow suit as it is important to shape the future of what we want it to look like, and not adhere to the outdated structures of the past.”
As Tyler, The Creator pointed out when he sledged the Grammy Awards for their treatment of black artists earlier this year, the term ‘urban’ has long been used to segregate globally successful artists of colour from their white counterparts in the greater “pop” genre.
“I don’t like that ‘urban’ word,” the artist said. “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 can read Republic Records’ full statement below.