Rapper Royce da 5’9 had some choice words of advice for the powers that be as various entities within the entertainment industry are enacting changes to do better by the Black people among its ranks in the wake of widespread protests that have brought increased attention to Black issues.
While he felt the sentiments were a nice gesture that is in alignment with other corporate structures that have recently “seen the light” when it comes to Black issues, Royce believes that their actions don’t even scratch the surface of leading to meaningful change in the entertainment industry.
“I like the fact that white people, record labels, and television networks are taking steps to be in good standing with Black people and taking the word ‘urban’ out of certain departments as it relates to Black music and Black people,” the Detroit rapper said in a 13-minute video posted to his Instagram page. “I’m not sure what you guys think that fixes, but I think you’re going in the right direction. I think that’s a good thing.”
He recalled a past conversation between prominent entertainment attorney, and former record executive Ron Sweeney and himself about measures the entertainment industry could adopt to create systematic change. In a second Instagram post on the matter, he shared the list of 12 actions steps record labels can implement now to truly move the needle forward.
“If you guys at record labels are into these ideas, you should at least read them because it's going to put you in the ballpark. Right now, I don’t even think you guys are scratching the surface,” Royce candidly admitted. “Frankly, I look at it as telling. I look at it as a reflection of where you place our value in the things that you’re offering us.”
Royce’s remarks come after Republic Records also announced earlier this week that it would cease the use of “urban from the label’s verbiage in describing departments, employee titles and music genres,” according to a statement obtained by Variety. Republic implored the rest of the music industry to follow suit, and The Recording Academy, the parent organization behind the annual Grammy Awards ceremony, heeded their call, renaming several of its award categories.
Most notably, the Best Urban Contemporary Album category has been renamed to Best Progressive R&B Album. The Best Rap/Sung Performance category was renamed to Best Melodic Rap Performance.
(Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)