Drake and Taylor Swift’s music label drops the term ‘urban’

Republic Records calls for others to follow suit.
June 9, 2020 12:50 p.m. EST
June 10, 2020 3:23 p.m. EST
attends the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards at the Barclays Center on August 25, 2013 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. attends the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards at the Barclays Center on August 25, 2013 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.
The word “urban” will still be used to describe areas in towns or cities, but as far as Republic Records is concerned the term will no longer be a part of the verbiage in its buildings. The music label recently announced that it is dropping the word, and now it’s urging the rest of the music industry to follow suit.The company, which reps artists like Drake, Taylor Swift, The Weeknd and Ariana Grande, made the news public in an Instagram post on June 6. “Effective immediately, Republic Records will remove ‘URBAN’ from our verbiage in describing departments, employee titles and music genres,” the post reads. “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industry to follow suit as it is important to shape the future of what we want it to look like, and not adhere to the outdated structures of the past.”
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[video_embed id='1973110']RELATED: Bieber admits he's benefitted from Black culture, vows to fight racial injustice[/video_embed]Many musicians and fans immediately showed their support in the comments section. German-Canadian artist Bulow, YouTube star Angelic, and “King’s Dead” collaborator James Blake shared heart emojis. “This is SUCH a historic moment,” added Oprah Magazine’s digital director Arianna Davis. “As a Black journalist but also just music lover, I’ve long wondered why this word was necessary. Proud of Republic for reflecting on this during this time and leading the music industry to follow suit!”According to Billboard the term “urban” was first used in the mid-1970s when Black New York radio DJ Frankie Crocker broke out the term “urban contemporary.” Eventually that was shortened to just “urban,” and while it was considered inoffensive at the time, it has since evolved into something many feel is used to marginalize Black musicians into one category. Republic’s decision to drop the term comes a day after management company Milk & Honey (which reps Oak Felder) also decided to stop using the word.“Change starts at home,” wrote president Lucas Keller. “Therefore, we, here at Milk & Honey have decided to formally ELIMINATE the term ‘URBAN’ at our company. We will no longer be using the term, as we believe it’s an important step forward, and an outdated word, which has no place in 2020 onwards.”
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The changes come in the wake of the current Black Lives Matter movement that’s sweeping North America following the killing of George Floyd on May 25 by police. Many artists have been active on social media in the weeks following, encouraging movements like #BlackoutTuesday as musicians including Kanye West, Drake and The Weeknd have made massive donations to organizations supporting the fight for social justice against systemic racism.On June 2, The Weeknd called upon industry insiders to donate even more. “To my fellow respected industry partners and execs,” he tweeted. “No one profits off of Black music more than the labels and streaming services. I gave yesterday and I urge you to go big and public with yours this week. It would mean the world to me and the community if you can join us.”[video_embed id='1967865']BEFORE YOU GO: Man hilariously reviews his toddler's restaurant[/video_embed]

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