(BBC) – Republic Records, one of the most powerful record labels in the US, will stop using the word “urban” to describe music of black origin.
The company, which is home to Drake and Ariana Grande, says it will no longer use the term to describe “departments, employee titles and music genres”.
“We encourage the rest of the music industry to follow suit,” it added.
The term is often considered to be a generalisation that marginalises music by black artists.
“‘Urban’ is a lazy, inaccurate generalisation of several culturally rich art forms,” radio presenter DJ Semtex told the magazine Music Business UK in 2018.
“I despise the word,” he added. “I know artists that do hip-hop, grime, or rap. I don’t know anyone that does urban music.
“The connotation of the word doesn’t hold a positive weight,” agreed Sam Taylor, a senior vice president at Kobalt Music, in an interview with Billboard in 2018.
“It’s downgrading R&B, soul and hip-hop’s incredible impact on music.”