Republic Records Puts An Embargo On “Urban”

The company will no longer use the term in its lingo.

Republic Records has announced it will ban the term “urban” from its company verbiage in describing departments, employee titles and music genres. The decision comes as many companies and industries are taking steps towards promoting racial equality in the wake of ongoing protests against systematic racism and police brutality.

“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industry to follow suit as it is important to shape the future of what we want it to look like, and not adhere to the outdated structures of the past,” Republic Records said in a statement.

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The aforementioned term is considered by many an antiquated generalization that marginalizes music by black artists and widely used in the music industry as an ‘umbrella term’ for genres like hip-hop and R&B. The conversation around eliminating the term has started years ago, with activists advocating for record labels to reflect the social change being fought for across industries. In addition to taking a stance, the Universal Music-owned record label created a new twitter account, Republic Records Action Committee, that seeks to support the community and educate people by creating resources, tools and training for employees. The committee is working closely with a larger action team at Universal Music Group, the Task Force for Meaningful Change, that has also pledged to invest $25 million in areas “aid/charitable giving, global, internal/institutional change, legislative/public policy, partners and programming/curation.”

Republic Records is home to artists like Ariana Grande, The Weeknd, Drake and Taylor Swift. The record label has clarified in a press release that this decision will not lead to any structural changes at the company.

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