The label urban contemporary has been said to be” seemingly designed to compartmentalize black artists, undermining the culture’s contributions to and influences on music even as it tries to celebrate it.”
Republic Records — home to top artists including Ariana Grande and Taylor Swift — on Friday vowed to ban the word “urban” as a generalization for hip-hop and R&B. Many see it as an antiquated umbrella term — it is still used to describe many awards at the Grammys — that ignorantly lumps all music by black artists into the same grab-bag. The label, a division of Universal, said it would remove “urban” from department names, employee titles and music genres. Use of “urban” in music jargon dates back to the mid-1970s, according to Billboard, which says the black WBLS New York radio DJ Frankie Crocker used the phrase “urban contemporary.”
KOP looks into the history of the Urban Contemporary Era and explains his long standing argument how this is a signal for the change of mainstream music.
- Music Industry Rethinks ‘Urban’ as a Genre for Black Artists https://www.bloombergquint.com/pursuits/music-industry-rethinks-using-urban-to-market-black-artists
- 1991: The Most Important Year in Pop-Music History https://www.theatlantic.com/culture/a…
- The very white ways of the top 40 https://theoutline.com/post/1148/the-…
- This Is Why The Urban Contemporary Grammy Exists https://www.thefader.com/2015/02/02/this-is-why-the-urban-contemporary-grammy-exists
- Should the Urban Contemporary Grammy Category Be Abolished? https://www.spin.com/2017/02/urban-contemporary-grammy-abolished/
- History of Urban Contemporary Music https://www1.udel.edu/nero/Radio/readings/urban.html
- The Urban Contemporary Dilemma https://melismamagazine.com/2017/06/19/the-urban-contemporary-dilemma/
- The Racist Undertones Of The ‘Urban Contemporary’ Grammys Category https://medium.com/the-establishment/the-racist-undertones-of-the-urban-contemporary-grammys-category-e2559aeefe60
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