A week after Republic Records announced their decision to drop “Urban” from their department descriptions, The Recording Academy announced a similar change. The term will be dropped from awards and language, as announced in the recent guidelines changes, Variety reports.
The change will affect the Best New Artist category, along with the fields for Latin, R&B, and Rap Fields. Along with the changes, the rules and guidelines book will be public for the first time ever.
Best Urban Contemporary Album has been renamed Best Progressive R&B Album to appropriately categorize and describe this subgenre. This change includes a more accurate definition to describe the merit or characteristics of music compositions or performances themselves within the genre of R&B.
“It’s all part of what I hope will be a and a new chapter in our history. We’re listening to and learning from our partners and constituents and stakeholders; we’re trying to make sure we’re able to pivot and change and adapt; and we want to be really inclusive,” interim president and CEO Harvey Mason Jr. said to Variety.
“I’m truly excited for the name change of Best Urban Contemporary Album to Best Progressive R&B Album. It shows that the Academy is listening to the music community and self-correcting by removing a term that’s been a contentious topic of discussion over the years in the spirit of inclusion,” said Recording Academy PA Chapter Trustee Ivan Barias. “I along with the co-authors, felt it was time to find a new name that still reflects the original definition while making room for the more progressive styles emerging in the genre. The change from Best Rap/Sung Performance to Best Melodic Rap Performance was important in order to establish specificity in this category. While the definition is the same, it gives our members and screening committees a better understanding of what belongs in the category. It was a necessary update that future-proofs this category and will help it grow.”
An additional change includes Best Rap/Sung Performance has been renamed Best Melodic Rap Performance to represent the inclusivity of the growing hybrid performance trends within the rap genre.
The full rulebook can be seen here.