During the recent 62nd Grammy Awards at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Billie Eilish was a big winner. Other winners included Lizzo, Lil Nas X, and, surprisingly, Tyler, the Creator.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Tyler, but I honestly didn’t expect him to win because he never does. IGOR was a masterpiece, but Tyler doesn’t make music that appeals to the masses. His music isn’t the mainstream thing you hear on B96. If you’re listening to Tyler, it’s intentional. “I’m not played in Target. I’m in a whole different world than what a lot of people here listen to,” Tyler said to reporters backstage at the awards.
The craziest part about the whole win is that it was for Best Rap Album and IGOR isn’t even really rap. It seems more alternative than anything. Before the album’s release, Tyler tweeted a photo saying, “Don’t go into this expecting a rap album. Don’t go into this expecting any album. Just go, jump into it.”
While being grateful for his for Grammy win (despite it being his third nomination), Tyler feels like this award is still somewhat of a “back-handed compliment.” “On one side, I’m very grateful that what I made could be acknowledged in a world like this. But also, it sucks that whenever we — and I mean guys that look like me — do anything that’s genre-bending, they always put it in a rap or urban category.”
Tyler feels that the word “urban” is basically a non-offensive way to still be disrespectful toward Black artists. “I don’t like that urban word; it’s just a politically correct way to say the n-word to me. When I hear that, I’m just like why can’t we be in pop?”
Aaron Mitchell, a senior at Brooks College Prep, agreed with Tyler and thinks the word “urban” is slightly offensive. “It’s really just a way for the industry to refer to Black people without saying it directly,” he said.
It’s definitely understandable why Tyler feels so half and half about the win. He had to completely change his sound and basically become mainstream before he was able to get an award he deserved years ago. Despite this, I’m happy he finally won and hope to see him win more in the coming years.
By Cierra Lemott, Senior, Brooks College Prep
Instagram & Snapchat: @cece.kodak