In a surprise announcement, Republic Records has announced that they will no longer use the term “Urban” to describe Rap/Hip-Hop music within their label.
Republic, which is one of the biggest labels in the world, says it will “remove the word ‘urban’ from our verbiage in describing departments, employee titles and music genres.” Republic is home to superstars such as Drake, Post Malone, The Weeknd, Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift, Nicki Minaj and more.
For many years, industry experts have argued that the term marginalizes music created by black artists and needs to be replaced with another. “We encourage the rest of the music industry to follow suit as it is important to shape the future of what we want it to look like, and not adhere to the outdated structures of the past,” the statement further reads. It will be interesting to see if the music industry can come together to find a suitable term in place of “Urban” because it’s currently being used by many entities apart from labels, including radio, A&R and marketing.
The step from Republic comes after many companies in the art field are calling out for better representation of colored people in the workforce across the board, as protests continue around the country over the recent killing of George Floyd in Minnesota by the Police.