Billie Eilish is echoing Tyler, The Creator’s Grammys speech about being put into a category that is more determined by his race than his music.
Tyler won the Grammy for Best Rap Album for IGOR, a largely experimental record where he did very little rapping at all. He noted: “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 – and I don’t like that “urban” word, it’s just a politically correct way to say the ‘N-word’ to me.”
“I have always hated categories,” Eilish said in a new interview with British GQ. “I hate when people say, ‘Oh, you look like ‘blank.’ You sound like ‘blank.’ It was such a cool thing Tyler said. I agree with him about that term. Don’t judge an artist off the way someone looks or the way someone dresses. Wasn’t Lizzo in the Best R&B category that night? I mean, she’s more pop than I am.”
She adds: “Look, if I wasn’t white I would probably be in ‘rap.’ Why? They just judge from what you look like and what they know. I think that is weird. The world wants to put you into a box; I’ve had it my whole career. Just because I am a white teenage female I am pop. Where am I pop? What part of my music sounds like pop?”
Over the weekend, Republic Records announced that they would no longer be using the word ‘urban’ when describing their “departments, employee titles and music genres.” “We encourage the rest of the music industry to follow suit,” it added in a statement.