Radio and Music Industry News

Republic Records Removing “Urban” from Verbiage … Are we Going Backwards?

“Urban” Defines Black Industry Culture and Contributions to the industry. It is an extremely important term. What’s the replacement? Black Music Division sounds great! “R&B and Hip-Hop?” so so

If I didn’t see it I would have never believed it. I have to honestly admit when I got this information I was shocked. “Urban” defines our music, our culture and our contributions to the music industry eliminating the term would like …. well … eliminating us. Before “Urban” it was referred to as The Black Music Division which was better. Whatever happened to that? Would you have a problem with going back to that? I wouldn’t.

While the other labels are finding ways to increase our presence and grant equality for Black people in the industry I’m not so sure about this. While the term “urban” is more all-encompassing I never found it or “Black Music” to be racist?

As a Black industry entrepreneur and a former radio programmer, I like the term “Urban” but I like Black Music, even more, after all, it is black music, just like country is country music, jazz is jazz music, and classical is classical music. My question to Republic is what are you going to replace “Urban” with?

Any station can call themselves “R&B and Hip-Hop” and not have a single Black employee on board but Urban or Black Music is something that those stations run from and that Black industry people gravitate too. Urban stations are first on board to talk about the demonstrations and Black Lives Matter. Urban and Black stations were and have been at the forefront of Civil unrest before any other formats, if at all. We are Black Music.


In the late 60s, Black program directors fought to have black music divisions started at the labels so that black people could get work in the industry. There were no black record reps or divisions at the time working black music. They prevailed and black music divisions were born.

If “Urban” is eliminated, what will it be replaced with? I would LOVE to know your thoughts even anonymous in comments.

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