(Reprinted from the March Network p.14)
From “Goblin” and “Wolf,” to “Cherrybomb” and “Flower Boy,” Tyler the Creator’s style and delivery matured and grew, resulting in his newest project: “Igor.” “Igor” is a stark contrast to Tyler’s earlier music, resulting in its mix of genres from R&B, pop, as well as rap. His trans- formation is hard to ignore, but the Grammy Awards looked past it and labeled his album as one genre: rap.
From the minute “Igor” was released, Tyler stated it was not a rap album,“Don’t go into this expecting a rap album… is is not “Goblin.” is is not “Wolf.” is is not “Cherry Bomb.” is is not “Flower Boy.” is is “Igor,” Tyler tweeted.
“Igor” was branded with the concept that it was not limited to one genre, but despite Tyler’s statements, the Grammy’s nominated “Igor”
in the Rap category. Several fans, including Marian girls, felt confused by the Grammy’s choice.
“I think it’s ignorant, because it’s not rap. He has his own style and most of the songs o “Igor” aren’t rap songs. His earlier music was made when he was a teenager, and he did really aggressive rap that would be viewed as offensive if he released
it today. Over the years I think he has discovered a new style that he’s embraced, so that’s why I think it shouldn’t be considered rap,” senior Emily Lamilla said.
“If he says he is pop, and I think he is personally, I think it’s a problem because they are basing it on his skin tone. It seems like everyone who is black is in rap or the urban genre, and everyone in pop is mostly white and not a person of color,” sophomore Avery Meis said.
“With Tyler’s nomination, I’m absolutely happy that he won since this is a very mainstream award show, and it gives a glimpse into his successful career. It shows that a wide group of people highly favor his music and his career overall which is absolutely amazing and every artist’s dream,” senior Achay Kual said.
With his album ‘Igor’ that won and his music overall, it is hard to classify him with that category since that isn’t really a fair portrayal of the type of music he makes. It does show that with the music industry, and the group of people that are the head of categorizing it all, there is a sort a bias that does come along with it, which is sad to realize since their music shouldn’t be based on their physical appearance but should just be the sound and how it makes us feel when listening,” she said.
“Though I do think that Tyler’s win was completely deserved, and I’m overall happy that he was recognized for his amazing music, I also just want to point out that the Grammy’s and other awards shows do need to make a change with how they catoregized artists and how they run it all because there is always room for improvement,” Kual said.
Tyler also spoke out about the issue to the press after his win, “I’m half and half on it. On one side, I’m very grateful that what I made could just be acknowledged in a world like this. But also … guys that look like me, do anything that’s genre-bending, they always put it in a ‘rap’ or ‘urban’ category. … I don’t like that ‘urban’ word. To me, it’s just a politically correct way to say the N-word. Why can’t we just be in pop?”
Tyler the Creator’s “Igor” was 37.1 percent rap, and the Recording Academy requires at least 51 percent of an album to be rap for it to be able to be nominated for the rap category, according to Affinity magazines. Despite this, his album was still coined “rap” by the Academy’s voting members.
is issue regarding nominations has been around for several years, affecting several artists from Beyoncé and Jay-Z to Frank Ocean. Rapper Sean John Combs, or commonly referred to as P. Diddy, expressed his opinions on the Grammy’s false category nominations in his speech after winning the Industry Icon Award, “ ere’s something I need to say to the Grammy’s… I say this with love to the Grammy’s because you really need to know this. Every year, y’all be killing us, man… is current situation is not a revelation. It’s been going on around the world, and for years we’ve allowed institutions that have never had our interests at heart to judge us. And that stops right now,” Combs said.
Tyler the Creator is shedding light on the Grammy’s tendency to jump to certain categories based on their past style or “look.” Tyler has grown into his own style and genre, and now he is just waiting for the critics to realize this as well.