Tyler, The Creator won his first Grammy Award on Sunday night (January 26) for IGOR, which earned a trophy in the Best Rap Album category. Despite his victory, the Odd Future mastermind was still outspoken about his mixed feelings toward the Recording Academy.
During a Grammys press conference, Tyler was asked if the recent controversy surrounding the show’s voting process has changed his views. He admitted he was torn.
“I’m half and half on it,” Tyler began. “Um on one side, I’m grateful that what I can make can just 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 or that’s anything, they always put it in a rap or urban category, which is … and I don’t like that ‘urban’ word. It’s just the 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?'”
— ??? ?????? (@itsOddFuture) January 27, 2020
Tyler continued, “So I felt like half of me feels like the rap nomination was a backhanded compliment. Like ‘Oh 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 can be acknowledged on a level like this when I don’t do the radio stuff. I’m not playing in Target. I’m in a whole different world than what a lot of people here listen to so I’m grateful and like ehh.”
Tyler’s sentiments echoed Diddy’s speech during the Clive Davis and the Recording Academy’s Pre-Grammy Gala on Saturday (January 25).
“I say this with love to the Grammys because you really need to know this,” he said. “Every year y’all be killing us, man. Man, you talk about the pain. I’m speaking for all the artists and executives. The amount of time that it takes to make these records, to pour your heart out into it and you just want an even playing field.
“In the great words of Erykah Badu, we are artists and we are sensitive about our shit. Truth be told, Hip Hop has never been respected by the Grammys. Black music has never been respected by the Grammys to the point that it should be.”
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While accepting the Industry Icon Award, Sean @diddy Combs called out the Recording Academy and urged black artists to take back their power. “Truth be told, hip-hop has never been respected by the Grammys. Black music has never been respected by the Grammys,” he said before dedicating his award to classic black albums that never won a Grammy. They include #Beyonce (Lemonade) @missymisdemeanorelliott (Da Real World) Nas (Illmatic) and @snoopdogg (Doggystyle).