The Grammys have been under pressure all week before last night’s annual award ceremony. The CEO of the Recording Academy essentially claimed the Grammys were rigged — an allegation that’s been made on numerous occasions by Black artists for years yet have never been acknowledged. News reports, alleged that Dugan was actually kicked out of the organization for sending out a memo that challenged issues that included alleged misuse of duns, voting irregularities, and conflicts of interest within the Academy.
Actress Gabrielle Union chimed in on the situation by stating, “Coulda sworn this is the same board that told women to ‘step up,’” Union most recently tweeted. “Clearly what they really meant was stand down, turn a blind eye to problems, or be fired. #DeborahDugan truly stepped up & tried to make necessary changes & was shown the door. Been there, done that, got fired too.”
During the Grammys, Tyler, The Creator took home the award for Best Rap Album, a feat he even had mixed feelings about. IGOR was an incredible album but to classify it as rap is a major reach. The rapper even explained that being described as an “urban” artist, as opposed to a pop artist for this album, was a backhanded compliment.
“On the one side I am very grateful that what I made can be acknowledged in a world like this… but it sucks that whenever we, and I mean guys that look like me, do anything that’s genre-bending or anything, they always put it in a rap or urban category. And I don’t like that ‘urban’ word. It’s just a politically correct way to say the n-word, to me,” he said.
Off-White Founder and Louis Vuitton Artistic Director Virgil Abloh relates to those sentiments. As he took to Instagram to praise Tyler for the award, he made it clear that terms like “urban” and “streetwear” come with connotations that prevent Black artists especially from being able to reach a wider audience because of how they’re categorized.
“oung, wise, and gifted @feliciathegoat. exact sentiment when I hear the word ‘streetwear’,” he wrote. Check the post below.