Republic Records will no longer use the term “urban” to describe music produced by black artists.
The label, which is owned by the world’s largest record label company Universal Music Group, said it was erasing the “outdated” tag from all parts of its business with immediate effect.
The company, which represents stars including
Drake, Ariana Grande, Stevie Wonder and Taylor Swift, is urging all others in the music business to do the same.
Drake and Nicki Minaj are both signed to Republic Records
Republic posted the announcement on its official Instagram page, saying: “Republic Records will remove ‘Urban’ from out verbiage in describing departments, employee titles and music genres.”
It went on: “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industry to follow suit as it is important to shape the future of what we want it to look like, and not adhere to the outdated structures of the past.”
The term “urban” has frequently been applied as a catch-all to describe music genres including hip-hop, grime, R&B, soul and rap.
While the term “urban contemporary” was first used in a positive way the mid-1970s by black New York radio DJ Frankie Crocker, the generalisation has since taken on negative undertones.
The label has also formed an action committee to specifically address social justice issues.
Artist management company Milk & Honey has also said it will be “eliminating” the word.
Related Slideshow: #BlackLivesMatter- Anti-racism protests across the world (Provided by Photo Services)
On May 25, 2020, George Floyd, an African American man, died while in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S. In a video that went viral, police officer Derek Chauvin can be seen pressing his knee on Floyd’s neck to restrain him while he was pinned to the ground. The action, which lasted several minutes, was marked by Floyd’s call for help, repeating the phrase “I can’t breathe.” He was taken to the Hennepin County Medical Center but was declared dead.
While protests against police brutality in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul region were peaceful at first, they soon turned violent as several public and private properties were vandalized, resulting in violent clashes between the police and the demonstrators. The demonstrations in the U.S. have since spiraled into global outrage, with supporters gathering publicly to protest police violence against people of color, and deep-seated racism in society more generally.
Take a look at photos of the ongoing protests in the U.S. and around the world.
(Pictured) People chant slogans, raise their fist and hold placards as they demonstrate in Nantes, France on June 8.
Two people hold hands in the air as they they demonstrate in Nantes, France on June 8.
An Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) supporter raises their fist in front of the U.S. Embassy in Pretoria, South Africa on June 8.
A group of children hold up their fists in front of a Black Lives Matter sign as people gather to protest near the White House in Washington D.C., U.S., on June 7.
Protesters participating in a Black Lives Matter rally march to Downtown Pittsburgh from Mount Washington in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S., on June 7.
A demonstrator gestures as she stands in front of police officers during a protest against racial inequality in Brussels, Belgium, on June 7.
A protester is seen during a demonstration that also opposes Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro in Sao Paulo, Brazil on June 7.
Protesters attend a rally in Rome, Italy, on June 7.
Protesters march against police brutality and racism in Montreal, Canada, on June 7.
An artist puts finishing touches to a Floyd mural in Toronto, Canada, on June 6.
Maxar satellite imagery of the Black Lives Matter painted road captured from space on 16th Street in Washington, D.C., on June 6.
Members of the Austin Police Department kneel in front of demonstrators who gathered in Austin, Texas, U.S., on June 6.
A man stands next to a Black Lives Matter sign on a traffic light post at the newly named “Black Lives Matter Plaza” on 16th Street, near the White House, during a protest in Washington D.C., U.S., on June 6.
People wearing masks hold placards during a protest march over the alleged police abuse of a Turkish man, echoing a Black Lives Matter protest, in Tokyo, Japan, on June 6.
People march in solidarity with protests in the U.S. in Adelaide, Australia, on June 6.
Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wears a mask as he takes a knee during a rally against the death of George Floyd, on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canada, on June 5.
Protesters kneel in Trafalgar Square during a “Black Lives Matter” demonstration in London, England, on June 5.
Several hundred doctors, nurses and medical professionals came together to protest against police brutality and the death of George Floyd in St Louis, Missouri, U.S., on June 5.
South Korean activists gather to mourn the death of George Floyd and show solidarity with the “Black Lives Matter” movement near the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, South Korea, on June 5.
People join hands as they gather in Barcelona, Spain, during a demonstration over the death of George Floyd, on June 4.
A man protests during a rally in New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S., on June 4.
Demonstrators march across Brooklyn Bridge in New York City, New York, U.S., on June 4.
A portrait of Floyd is displayed as demonstrators gather to mourn his death during a vigil at Catalunya Square in Barcelona, on June 4.
Protesters react at a memorial for Floyd in Minneapolis on June 4.
Terrence (C), Floyd’s brother, speaks as he attends a public memorial in the Brooklyn borough of New York City on June 4.
A man lights a candle during a demonstration in Mexico City, Mexico, on June 4.
Demonstrators lie on the ground during a protest in front of the U.S. embassy in Warsaw, Poland, on June 4.
Protesters march during a solidarity rally in New York City on June 4.
Protesters hold umbrellas at the front line of a barricade guarded by Seattle police and the National Guard in Seattle, Washington, U.S., on June 3.
Protesters hold placards during a demonstration organized by the Black Lives Matter movement in London on June 3.
A protester waves a banner emblazoned with the acronym BLM for Black Lives Matter, outside City Hall in Batavia, Illinois, U.S. on June 3.
Children hold up a sign as people and surfers gather at Moonlight Beach for the “Paddle out for Unity” event in Encinitas, California, U.S., on June 3.
People begin to gather ahead of the Black Lives Matter protest rally at Hyde Park in London, on June 3.
Demonstrators and police during a face-off in Washington, D.C., U.S. on June 3.
Protesters in Sydney, Australia, on June 2.
A small group of protesters gather to protest against police violence, at the gates of the South African Parliament in Cape Town on June 3.
A police officer takes a knee in front of protesters near Downing Street in London, England, on June 3.
LGBTQ community members join in support with Black Lives Matter protesters holding signs and chanting slogans on an intersection in West Hollywood, California, U.S., on June 3.
Demonstrators participate in a Black Lives Matter rally outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on June 3.
Protesters shout during a Black Lives Matter protest in Hyde Park in London on June 3.
Demonstrators including British actor John Boyega (C) stand in Parliament Square during an anti-racism protest in London on June 3.
Protesters at Trump International Hotel in New York City, New York, U.S., on June 2.
Protesters lie down for a minute of silence in the position George Floyd was in when he died, during a rally in Seattle Washington, U.S., on June 2.
Demonstrators greet members of the National Guard as they march along Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles, California, on June 2.
Protesters at a rally in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., on June 2.
Philonise Floyd, brother of George Floyd, is surrounded by family members as he speaks at a protest rally in Houston, Texas, U.S., on June 2.
Demonstrators protest against police brutality at the Tribunal de Paris courthouse in Paris, France, on June 2.
Protesters scuffle with riot police during a rally in Istanbul, Turkey, on June 2.
People march during a protest in Miami, Florida, U.S., on June 2.
Terrence Floyd looks at a mural near the site where his brother George was taken into police custody and later died, in Minneapolis, on June 1.
Actor and activist Jamie Foxx speaks during a rally in San Francisco, California, on June 1.
Officers take a knee along with protesters during a rally in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., on June 1.
U.S. President Donald Trump arrives at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C., on June 1.
Syrian artists Aziz Asmar and Anis Hamdoun finish a mural depicting Floyd in the town of Binnish, Syria, on June 1.
Liverpool soccer players take a knee as a tribute to Floyd in England on June 1.
A protester fist bumps a policeman during a standoff in Atlanta on June 1.
Police detain demonstrators in Oakland, California, U.S., on June 1.
Protesters gather in the Manhattan borough of New York City on June 1.
Demonstrators gather for a rally in Saint Paul, Minnesota, on May 31.
A protester shows a message on his cap in Long Beach, California, on May 31.
A protester dressed up in traditional Aztec attire during a protest in Saint Paul, Minnesota, on May 31.
A protester writes a message on the street in Washington, D.C., on May 31.
A memorial for Floyd is seen in front of the U.S. Consulate in Kraków, Poland, on May 31.
A protester kneels in front of a line of police officers in London, on May 31.
A protester holds up a message in Manchester, England, on May 31.
Protesters seen in Miami, Florida, U.S., on May 31.
Soccer player Jadon Sancho shows off a message in support for Floyd after scoring a goal for Borussia Dortmund during a game in Paderborn, Germany, on May 31.
A protester shouts slogans in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, on May 31.
Protesters seen in front of the American Embassy in London on May 31.
Protesters march down to the White House from the Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on May 30.
A graffiti piece pays tribute to Floyd in Berlin, Germany, on May 30.
“We will no longer be using the term as we believe it’s an important step forward, and an outdated word, which has no place in 2020 onwards,” the firm said on social media.
Telling followers “change starts at home”, the post signed off with the Dr Martin Luther King Jr quote: “The time is always right, to do what’s right”.
Both companies are just the latest to show their support for the
Black Lives Matter movement, following the death of George Floyd.
Floyd, 46, was killed on 25 May in Minneapolis after white police officer Derek Chauvin was filmed kneeling on his neck for at least eight minutes while arresting him for allegedly using a counterfeit $20 note in a shop.
Last week the music industry paused work for a day as “an urgent step of action to provoke accountability and change”.
Rihanna, Jamie Foxx, Drake, Nile Rodgers and music mogul Quincy Jones were among the stars to post black squares on their Instagram accounts as part of