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Tyler, The Creator calls Grammy win a “backhanded compliment”

Tyler, The Creator calls out the Grammy Awards for always placing him in rap and urban categories.

David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

On Sunday (Jan. 26) night, Tyler, The Creator took home his first Grammy for Best Rap Album for his 2019 release, IGOR.

While many people celebrated his first win, Tyler had mixed feelings about receiving the award.

“I’m half and half on it,” he said after winning the award. “On one side, I’m very grateful that what I made could 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 — I don’t like that ‘urban’ word. That’s just a politically correct way to say the n-word to me.”

Tyler’s IGOR went up against Revenge of the Dreamers III (J. Cole), I Am > I Was (21 Savage), Championships (Meek Mill), and The Lost Boy (YBN Cordae) in the Best Rap Album category, a category where he didn’t feel like his music belonged.

“When I hear that, I think ‘why can’t we just be in pop?’ Half of me feels like the rap nomination was a backhanded compliment,” Tyler continued. “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.”

“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,” he continued. “I’m not playing to Target, I’m in a whole different world than what a lot of people here listen to.”

The Grammys have come under a lot of fire for not celebrating black musicians the way they should. Diddy told the Grammys that they have 365 days “to get this shit together.”

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