Republic Records, one of the record labels, the most powerful of the United States, will stop using the word “urban” to describe the music of black origin.
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 considered to be 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” agreed Sam Taylor, senior vice president of Kobalt Music, in an interview with Billboard in 2018.
“Is downgrading 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 he played, covering everything from James Brown to Doris Day.
At that time, the label did not carry negative connotations but, after being abbreviated as “urban” began to be used as an all-rounder for the music created by black musicians – grouping them together actually in a category, regardless of gender.
Republic Records reflected the growing unease around the word in a written statement announcing 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 is not was considered to be negative. However, over time the meaning and the connotations of” urban “have changed and have developed in a generalization of the blacks in many sectors of the music industry, including employees and the music of black artists.
“Although this change does not affect and will not affect structurally none of our employees will remove the use of this outdated term.
“We encourage the rest of the music industry to consider the example in how important it is to shape the future of what we want it to look like, not to adhere to the obsolete structures of the past.”
‘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 have also stated that “it would eliminate formally the term” urban “in our company”.
In a statement published on social media, says: “we will No longer use the term because we believe 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 police officer white was shot in the knee on the neck of Mr Floyd for almost nine minutes, while the 46-year-old has repeated several 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 demanding racial justice.
The music industry has responded by putting in a pause the job for a day last week, with Universal Music – the mother house of the Republic Records, – establishing a “task force to accelerate our efforts in areas such as inclusion and social justice.”
Another on the death of George Floyd
However, others have argued that the industry needs a systemic change is widespread, rather than “window dressing”.
“Why the black music generates millions of dollars a year and yet none of the companies has a significant number of employees of color, let alone in the executive suite?” asked the senior attorney of the music industry, and Ronald E. Sweeney in a in an open letter published Sunday.
Sweeney, who has represented the likes of James Brown, P Diddy, Public Enemy, has drawn up a plan 12 points to tackle 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 for executive roles.
“[This] is what seems to be a significant change, and real, “ she wrote.” So, let’s see what you do “.