Tyler, The Creator has called out the Grammy Awards’ Urban category, insisting it’s just a “politically correct way” of saying “the N-word”.
The 28-year-old was among the winners at Sunday night’s (January 28, 2020) ceremony, taking home the Best Rap Album gong for his record Igor. And while he was thrilled to have received the honor, Tyler told reporters backstage shortly after his win that he wishes he could be recognized under a different, more mainstream, umbrella.
“On one side, I’m very grateful that what I made could just be acknowledged in a world like this,” he mused. “But also, it sucks that whenever we, and I mean guys that look like me, do anything that’s genre-bending, they always put it in a ‘rap’ or ‘urban’ category. I don’t like that ‘urban’ word. To me, it’s just a politically correct way to say the N-word. Why can’t we just be in pop?
“Half of me feels like the rap nomination was a backhanded compliment… Another half of me is very grateful that my art can be acknowledged on a level like this when I don’t do the radio stuff. I’m not played in Target. I’m in a whole different world than what a lot of people here listen to. I’m grateful and like ‘eh’ (shrugs).”
Tyler’s remarks come after Diddy slammed the Grammy Awards for their lack of diversity, as he accepted the President’s Merit Award at Salute to Industry Icons gala in Beverly Hills.
Confessing he had felt conflicted about collecting the prize, the rapper raged: “Truth be told, hip-hop has never been respected by the Grammys. Black music has never been respected by the Grammys to the point that it should be… And that stops right now.”
Meanwhile, after Tyler collected his Grammy on Sunday night, actor Jaden Smith tweeted: “My Boyfriend Just Won A Grammy.”
It’s not the first time Jaden, the son of Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, has called Tyler his boyfriend, but the pair has yet to clarify the nature of their relationship to fans.