From fashion to music, Virgil Abloh details the difficulties to be recognized past the terms "urban" or "streetwear."
The Grammys took place last night during a very controversial time for the Recording Academy. At the beginning of the Grammy week, explosive reports about the Academy made its way to the frontline of newsfeeds. The CEO of the Recording Academy essentially claimed the Grammys were rigged -- an allegation that's been made on numerous occasions by Black artists for years yet have never been acknowledged.
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During the Grammys, Tyler, The Creator took home the award for Best Rap Album, a feat he even had mixed feelings about. IGOR was an incredible album but to classify it as rap is a major reach. The rapper even explained that being described as an "urban" artist, as opposed to a pop artist for this album, was a backhanded compliment.
"On the one side I am very grateful that what I made can be acknowledged in a world like this… but it sucks that whenever we, and I mean guys that look like me, do anything that’s genre-bending or anything, they always put it in a rap or urban category. And I don’t like that ‘urban’ word. It’s just a politically correct way to say the n-word, to me," he said.
Off-White Founder and Louis Vuitton Artistic Director Virgil Abloh relates to those sentiments. As he took to Instagram to praise Tyler for the award, he made it clear that terms like "urban" and "streetwear" come with connotations that prevent Black artists especially from being able to reach a wider audience because of how they're categorized.
"oung, wise, and gifted @feliciathegoat. exact sentiment when I hear the word 'streetwear'," he wrote. Check the post below.