The Grammys Rebrand ‘Urban’ and Rap Categories to Be More Inclusive
As part of an ongoing commitment to “evolve with the musical landscape,” the Grammys unveiled a number of key changes to their annual award categories this week.
On June 10, the Recording Academy announced plans to rebrand its Best Urban Contemporary Album category as Best Progressive R&B Album, so that “albums that include the more progressive elements of R&B and may include samples and elements of hip-hop, rap, dance, and electronic music” can also be honored.
Similarly, the Best Rap/Sung Performance category is being changed to Best Melodic Rap Performance in an effort to “represent the inclusivity of the growing hybrid performance trends within the rap genre.”
In a statement, the Recording Academy’s interim president and CEO, Harvey Mason Jr., said the changes were made “to ensure the Grammy Awards are inclusive and reflect the current state of the music industry.”
He told Variety in an interview that the revamped categories are part of what he hopes “will be a new chapter in our history,” adding, “We’re trying to make sure we’re able to pivot and change and adapt; and we want to be really inclusive.”