Republic Records have announced that they will no longer use the word “urban” to describe music.
“Effective Republic Records will remove “URBAN” in describing sections the label said on Twitter using the hashtag #WeUseOurVoices.
— Republic Records (@RepublicRecords) June 5, 2020
“We invite as it is important to shape the future of what we want it to look like, rather than adhere to the outdated structures of the past the rest of the music industry to follow suit. ”
“We will use the term, as we believe it’s an important step forward, and an word, which has no place in 2020 onwards. ”
Milk & Honey are happy to start the wave in removing the term “Urban&rdquo. More here…
A 2018 report by Music Business Worldwide watched lots of figures in the music industry expressing growing distaste for the term “urban” in music and its use to describe genres initiated by black artists.
“I despise the word urban. I know artists who do grime, hip-hop, or rap. I don’t know anyone that does urban music,” the DJ and radio presenter DJ Semtex told the publication. “‘Urban’ is a generalisation of rich art forms. ”
“Urban music started as urban contemporary music,” through Metro UK. “Reportedly coined by New York DJ Frankie Crocker that is black in the mid-1970s, it was described as ‘a musical genre defined by recordings by R&B and soul artists with broad crossover appeal’.
“It started out as an American radio format designed to appeal to advertisers who felt that ‘black radio’ wouldn’t reach a wide audience.
“So basically, radio made the assumption that white America would be scared of the word black and due to that wouldn’t tune in. This could then lead to advertisers not needing to spend money and the channel then having to close its doors, by not tuning in. ”
Meanwhile, this week saw artists and companies across the music industry participate in a social media blackout to demonstrate solidarity with racial equality protests sparked by the death of George Floyd.
Messages shared by Warner, Universal, Dirty Strike and more set out a strategy to “disconnect from work and reconnect with our community” to the day, held as “an urgent step of action to provoke accountability and change. ”