Amidst the Blacks Lives Matter movement, The Recording Academy who is in charge of the GRAMMYs has announced major changes to some of the category names and rules which includes removing the word “Urban” describing black music from the category “Best Urban Contemporary Album“.
The Chair & Interim President/CEO of the Recording Academy, Harvey Mason Jr., said this via the official website:
I’m excited to announce our latest changes, as we’re constantly evaluating our Awards process and evolving it to ensure the GRAMMY Awards are inclusive and reflect the current state of the music industry.
The Academy accepts proposals for rule changes from members of the music community throughout the year that are carefully reviewed and, if accepted, ultimately ratified at our annual Board meeting, a process that we are proud to have continued in this challenging year.Harvey Mason Jr.
Five Grammy Awards Categories (which majorly includes the Black/Latinx community) has been renamed/reformed with new meanings to better define formerly incriminating parts of the Awards ceremony which is arguably the most prestigious Awards ceremony in the world.
While these name changes are cringe-worthy and awfully weird, it is a desperate, not-to-be-found-wanting attempt for an organisation as big as the Recording Academy which has not been totally comfortable with Acknowledging and giving proper credit to music made by people of colour.
These four major changes are explained below
“Best Urban Contemporary Album” renamed to “Best Progressive R&B Album”
The word Urban was removed from the “Best Urban Contemporary Album” to a reformed “Best Progressive Album”. According to the Recording Academy via the official website, the name change is “intended to highlight albums that include the more progressive elements of R&B and may include samples and elements of hip-hop, rap, dance, and electronic music. It may also incorporate production elements found in pop, euro-pop, country, rock, folk and alternative.”
“Best Latin Pop Album” now renamed as “Best Latin Pop Or Urban Album“
The addition of “Or Urban” is a change aimed at acknowledging the fact that Latin Music is more diversified than the Recording Academy would formerly agree to. It is to properly represent the current state and representation of the Latin Urban genre.
“Latin Rock, Urban Or Alternative Album” has been renamed “Best Latin Rock Or Alternative Album“
While there was a addition of the word “Urban” to one Latin category, there is it’s removal in another. The addition of the word here seems to be The Recording Academy’s own way of accepting the Hardcore Latin Rap/Trap, RnB and even Reggaeton. Why it’s being merged with Rock and Alternative genres is the million dollar question no one is yet to answer.
“Best Rap/Sung Performance” renamed to “Best Melodic Rap Performance“
This all but necessary change has been highly criticised on Social media. The obvious reason being that it’s former title sounds way more professional with the new title set to put a barrier on hardcore rap songs with featured singers doing Choruses/Hooks.
No Limitations on the “Best New Artist” Category
In a new rule updated by the Academy, there will no longer be a 30-track cap on nominees eligible for the “Best New Artist” Category. Previously, the rule had prevented artists with more than 30 songs prior to that particular year to be eligible for nomination. In a much needed change, the Academy has come to judge the “Best New Artist” based on not how many songs released prior to that year but the moment in which a significant breakthrough is made for that particular artist.
Do You feel these major changes are going to affect anything or bring the systemic racial quota down?? Talk to Us in the comments!
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