The Recording Academy Has Retired the Term ‘Urban’ — Is Urbano Next to Go?

October 28, 2020

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After the Recording Academy removed the term “urban” from its awards categories, Latin music professionals are left wondering if “urbano” will be next 

Written (by the amazing) Suzy Exposito

Other critics followed with statements backing el movimiento. “Urbano reinforces racial stereotypes while simultaneously perpetuating a ‘commercial culture’ that has played a huge role in the erasure of gritty lyricism and black visibility,” writes music critic Jennifer Mota. “‘Urbano’ does not reflect the richness of the politics, passion and creativity of the varied sounds,” adds reggaeton scholar Katelina Eccleston. “El movimiento is an opportunity to reach back into the raices,” she says, referring to reggaeton, reggae and rap en español’s legacy of political resistance.

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