On Tuesday, The Recording Academy released a press release with several changes to their Rap and R&B categories for this year’s award ceremony.
The organization announced that they have changed the name of “Best Urban Contemporary Album” to “Best Progressive R&B Album.” In addition, they have also altered the name “Best Rap/Sung Performance” to “Best Melodic Rap Performance.”
“Best Progressive R&B Album” is described as “albums containing at least 51% playing time of newly recorded progressive vocal tracks derivative of R&B. This category is intended for artists whose music includes the more progressive elements of R&B and may include samples and elements of hip-hop, rap, dance, and electronic music. It may also incorporate production elements found in pop, euro-pop, country, rock, folk and alternative.”
“Best Melodic Rap Performance” is “intended for performances that use the delivery of rap and melody over modern production. This performance requires a strong and clear presence of melody combined with rap cadence, and is inclusive of dialects, lyrics or performance elements from non-rap genres including R&B, rock, country, electronic or more. The production may include traditional elements of rap or elements characteristic of the aforementioned non-rap genres. Both the song and melody should be considered to fit these criteria to be accepted in this category.”
These alterations to the categories are in response to racial tensions across the country in the wake of police brutality and inequality.
The Academy recently published a list of ways that everyone can support the Black Lives Matter Movement, including links to protest bail out funds and the link to the official George Floyd Go Fund Me campaign.