The label has decided to stop using the "outdated" term.
As socio-political upheaval continues across the country as people demand justice for George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, some have turned their attention to calling out corporations and companies for their participation in black art and black culture, although remaining silent on situations of racial injustice. Republic Records is the first company within the music industry that has decided to take a firm stance against the use of the word “urban” in the industry.
Republic Records, home to artists like The Weeknd, Nicki Minaj, and Drake through joint partnerships, announced on their Instagram that they would discontinue the use of the word “urban” within the label. The label wrote, “Effective immediately, Republic Records will remove “URBAN” from our verbiage in describing departments, employee titles, and music genres.” Many argue that the term symbolizes the music industry’s lumping of black artists into one category which marginalizes black musicians in the process.
Captioning the announcement, “#WeUseOurVoices, Use Yours,” not only did the label ban the use of the term within the label itself, but they also encouraged the rest of the music industry to follow in their lead. They added, “We encourage the rest of the music industry to follow suit as it is important to shape the future of what we want it to look like, and not adhere to the outdated structures of the past.”