- The Washington Times - Monday, January 27, 2020

Fresh off his first Grammy win Sunday night, Tyler, The Creator lamented that people who “look like him,” or black performers, are typically lumped in rap and urban award categories despite spanning myriad styles and genres.

The 28-year-old performer, who won Best Rap Album for “IGOR,” was gracious during his acceptance speech but spoke candidly backstage about his feelings of being stereotyped by the industry.

“On one side, I’m very grateful that what I made could just be acknowledged in a world like this,” he told reporters. “But also, it sucks that whenever we — and I mean guys that look like me — do anything that’s genre-bending or that’s anything, they always put it in a rap or urban category.

“I don’t like that ‘urban’ word — it’s just a politically correct way to say the n-word to me,” he continued. “When I hear that, I’m just like why can’t we be in pop? Half of me feels like the rap nomination was just a backhanded compliment. Like, my little cousin wants to play the game. Let’s give him the unplugged controller so he can shut up and feel good about it — that’s what it felt like a bit.

“But another half of me is very grateful that the art that I made could be acknowledged on a level like this when I don’t do the radio stuff, I’m not played in Target, I’m in a whole different world than what a lot of people here listen to,” he added.

Tyler’s criticism of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and the industry as a whole came one day after Sean “Diddy” Combs blasted the academy for not respecting black artists.

“Black music has never been respected by the Grammys to the point that it should be,” the rapper said during an annual pre-Grammy event. “So, right now, in this current situation, it’s not a revelation. This thing been going on and it’s not just going on in music. It’s going on in film. It’s going on in sports, It’s going on around the world.”

The comments came after the Recording Academy recently announced new diversity initiatives, CNN reported.

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