Last week on January 26, the GRAMMYs took place and there were some surprising wins and some shocking losses. I never really have the desire to watch the GRAMMYs in real-time and have found that I’m way more content to catch up with who won and who lost on Twitter. As I was scrolling through my feed the following morning, all I saw were tweets about Tyler, the Creator.
I have been a fan of his music since he performed with a group called Odd Future, and as that group started to make less and less music, Tyler, the Creator started to pursue and invest in his solo career. Tyler, the Creator‘s music began to gain a lot more traction after his 2017 album, Flower Boy, which contained some of his most famous songs like “See You Again” and “Boredom.” After gaining some recognition for his work on Flower Boy, he has since recently released an album in 2019 called IGOR. After releasing the album, Tyler, the Creator took home a GRAMMY under the category of “Best Rap Album.” I initially thought that he was trending on Twitter because he finally won a GRAMMY after being nominated in 2018 for his album Flower Boy.
However, there was more to the story than meets the eye. Tyler, the Creator was trending because he made some bold statements criticizing the inner-workings of how the GRAMMYs are categorized and nominated. He went on to say that Black people will always be grouped with the Rap and Urban categories, even if they make music that does not conform to those specific genres. Watch the video below to view his full speech.
“…I don’t like that urban word, it’s just a politically correct way to say the n-word to me. So when I hear that, I’m just like why can’t we just be in pop?”Tyler, The Creator
Tyler, the Creator offers some insight that not that many people are aware of when they’re watching their favorite artists win GRAMMYs. Personally, I think that not only the GRAMMYs, but award shows in general could do a lot more to improve. On February 2, the BAFTAs were under fire for the title of a certain award category. The Korean film, Parasite, had won “Film Not in the English Language.” Yikes.
Following Tyler, the Creator‘s critiques on the GRAMMYs, I thought that he made a lot of good points surrounding the music of Black artists. There are so many Black artists out there bending the stereotypical musical genres, and creating something new and innovative. From Tyler, the Creator to Lil Nas X to BROCKHAMPTON, these Black artists see no limit to how far they can push the norms in music. Black musicians don’t solely make “Rap and Urban” music. To start out February, which is Black History month, I wanted to create a Spotify playlist celebrating Black artists and their accomplishments in music (sorry Apple Music users and non-Spotify premium users).
There’s so many more artists out there, but these are the ones that I’ve been exposed to in my lifetime. From pop to country to disco to indie to music that have no label, this playlist (almost) has it all. With this Spotify playlist being a WHOPPING 7 hours long, I hope these songs and Black artists will change your life as much as they have changed mine. So, let’s enjoy this playlist together for Black History month and continue to listen to, celebrate, and cherish these artists all year long.