After 9 years in the industry Tyler, The Creator has walked away from the Grammys as the winner of Best Rap album for his break-through record ‘IGOR’. But the 28 year old artist was feeling very conflicted as he spoke about the way the awards ceremony deals with race and genre.
After a gracious acceptance speech where he thanked the likes of Pharrell Williams saying “growing up feelin’ left of centre to a lot of stuff that I saw on TV, that man has allowed me to be comfortable with myself” Tyler spoke openly with press in regards to how he feels about the voting process at the Grammys saying that placing his record in the rap category was a “backhanded compliment”.
“It sucks that we, and I mean guys that look like me, do anything that’s genre bending or that’s anything; they always put it in a rap or urban category… I don’t like that urban word; it’s just a politically correct way to say the n-word to me. So when I hear that, I’m just like why can’t we just be in Pop? “
Tyler, chipped away at the ideas of genre with ‘IGOR’ creating genre blending sounds that included Jazz, Rap, Soul, Electronica, Pop and more creating one of the most unique records of 2019. He continued “Another half of me is very grateful that the art that I make can be acknowledge on a level like this, I don’t do the radio stuff, I’m not played in Target I’m in a whole different world than what the other people listen to, I’m grateful and ehhh”.
This creativity is defining of the art without the recognition. The Grammys have been boycotted by artists like Frank Ocean, and Kanye West in the past for the looming racial implications the ceremony has displayed. At this weeks Grammys Diddy also took the time, well a lot of time to share his disdain for the awards show.
“Black music has never been respected by the Grammys to the point that it should be. So, right now, in this current situation, it’s not a revelation. This thing been going on and it’s not just going on in music. It’s going on in film. It’s going on in sports, It’s going on around the world,” he said while speaking at the pre-Grammys annual gala. More pivotally he said
“”We need transparency. We need diversity. This is the room that has the power to make the change. It needs to be made. They have to make the changes for us.”
Its not about how long the legendary artist spoke for but more the substance that matters, the change needs to made from the inside, these changes may be closer than he thinks as this week the Grammys board announced steps to become more inclusive.
All these claims push towards changing the process of selection by hiring women, and specific officers to facilitate the inclusiveness of said process; as well as an external board who will review the progressiveness of the board. As well distributing a fund to different ‘Women in music ‘ organisations. Although these step will push to create more representation at the Grammys, artists like Tyler, the Creator the push for wider selection in genres and musical representation may take some more time.
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