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The label Drake and Ariana Grande abandons the term “urban”


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Republic Records represents artists such as Drake, Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift and The Weeknd


Republic Records, one of the record labels, the most powerful of the United States, will stop using the word “urban” to describe black music.

The company, home to Drake and Ariana Grande, says that will no longer use the term to describe “departments, titles of employees and kinds of music”.

“We encourage the rest of the music industry to follow the example”, he added.

The term is often seen as a generalization that marginalizes the music of black artists.

“‘Urban’ is a generalization lazy and imprecise of different art forms culturally rich,” said the radio host, DJ Semtex magazine Music Business UK in 2018.

“Contempt for the word,” he added. “I know artists who do hip-hop, grime or rap. I don’t know anyone that makes urban music.

“The connotation of the word has a weight, positive”, he accepted Sam Taylor, senior vice president of Kobalt Music, in an interview with Billboard in 2018.

“Diminish the incredible impact of R&B, soul and hip-hop music”.

The term dates back to the mid – ’70s, when the radio black New York DJ Frankie Crocker coined the phrase “urban contemporary” as a label for the eclectic mix of songs that played – that covered everything from James Brown to Doris Day.

At that time, the label had negative connotations but, after being abbreviated as “urban” began to be used as a carryall for the music created by black musicians – grouping them together actually in one category, regardless of sex.

Republic Records reflected a growing discomfort around the word in a statement that he would remove the word from your business vocabulary.

“‘Urban’ is rooted in the historical evolution of terms that have attempted to define black music,” he said.

“As for much of our history, the connotation of the original term urban was not seen as negative. However, over time, the meaning and the connotations of” urban “have changed and developed in a generalization of The black in many areas of the music industry, including the employees and the music of black artists.

“Although this change does not affect or structurally to any of our employees, it will remove the use of this term is archaic.

“We encourage the rest of the music industry to consider to follow this example, because it is important to shape the future of how we would like it to be, so as not to adhere to the obsolete structures of the past.”

“An important step forward”

The label, the list of which also includes The Weeknd, Nicki Minaj, Post Malone and Taylor Swift, has also announced the formation of a “committee of action” to address issues of social justice.

The management company Milk & Honey, which songwriters have contributed to the successes of Drake & Rick Ross, The Chainsmokers, Dua Lipa, and Selena Gomez, has also said that it “would eliminate formally the term” urban “by our company” .

In a statement published on social media, said: “we will No longer use the term because we think that it is an important step forward and a word obsolete, that does not have space in the year 2020”.

The move comes in the wake of the protests spread to the United States and the United Kingdom to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis two weeks ago,

A white cop was shot in the knee on the neck of mr. Floyd for almost nine minutes, while the man is 46-year-old has repeated multiple times: “I can’t breathe”. After he was declared dead at the hospital.

His death has prompted hundreds of thousands to take to the streets to ask for racial justice.

The music industry has responded by stopping the work for a day last week, with Universal Music – the parent company of Republic Records – by creating a “task force to accelerate our efforts in areas such as inclusion and social justice”.

More information on the death of George Floyd

Others, however, have said that the industry was in need of a systemic change is widespread, rather than “dressing up”.

“Why the black music generates millions of dollars a year, yet none of the companies has a significant number of employees of color, even less in the executive suite?” asked Ronald E. Sweeney, a lawyer and head of the music industry, in an open letter published Sunday.

Sweeney, who represented James Brown, P Diddy, Public Enemy, developed a plan of 12 points for addressing what he called “the elephant in the room, including equal pay and the creation of a three-year program to train persons belonging to minorities to positions of command.

“[This] this is the aspect of change is significant and real, “ she wrote.” So let’s see what you do. “

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