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Tyler the Creator Calls Grammys Rap, Urban Categories “A Politically Correct Way to Say the N-Word”

Tyler the Creator Calls Grammys Rap, Urban Categories “A Politically Correct Way to Say the N-Word”

Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

After winning Best Rap Album honors for Igor, Tyler admitted that he felt conflicted.

Tyler the Creator won his first Grammy Award for Best Rap Album on Sunday. Additionally, the Odd Future MC performed “EARFQUAKE” with Charlie Wilson and Boyz II Men and “New Magic Wand.” In the subsequent interview backstage, however, he let it be known that the honor was bittersweet.

“I’m half-and-half on it,” Tyler said of the honor. “On one side I’m very grateful that what I made could just be acknowledged in a world like this.”

READ: “Fuck the Grammys:” Goldlink Sends Withering Critique Towards the Grammy Awards

However, Tyler levied a critique about genre consideration that emerged shortly after the Recording Academy announced its list of nominees.

“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,” he said. “I don’t like that ‘urban’ word–it’s just a politically correct way to say the n-word to me.”

After the video started circulating, designer Virgil Abloh reposted it and compared “urban” to the term “streetwear.”


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young, wise, and gifted @feliciathegoat. exact sentiment when I hear the word “streetwear”

A post shared by @ virgilabloh on

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READ: “Hip-Hop Has Never Been Respected By the Grammys: Diddy Blasts Recording Academy During “Icon Award” Acceptance

The Recording Academy nominated IGOR for Best Rap Album. The honor was confusing to many, as each of Tyler’s last albums has featured less actual rapping than the last. The project beat out Dreamville’s Revenge of the Dreamers III, Meek Mill’s Championships, 21 Savage’s I Am > I Was, and YBN Cordae’s The Lost Boy.

IGOR is currently available on all major streaming platforms.



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