It's refreshing to see the fight continuing and you can get involved. First take a look at what is starting to happen:
In honor of Black Music Month, and also in honor of a TRUE Urban Alternative artist and pioneer of this genre, the late Mr. Gil Scott-Heron, we ask that every member of the urban community that agrees with the spirit of this protest join us in a POSITIVE protest against this injustice to the urban community. This document is a guideline to ensure that everyone involved is on the same page on what we are trying to achieve. You don't have to stick to this document word for word, but again, to ensure that we obtain our objectives, we ask that you stay true to what we are trying to accomplish.
Guidelines For A Unified Protest of The Decision of The Recording Academy to Eliminate the Best Urban Alternative Performance Category And The Combining of The Best R&B Album and Best Contemporary R&B Categories
The R&B Community would like to request that The Recording Academy:
· Reinstate the Best Urban Alternative Performance category.
· Reinstate the separation of Best R&B Album & Best Contemporary R&B Album
Statement from the R&B Community:
The R&B community which consists of Urban Alternative, R&B, Traditional R&B, Funk, Neo Soul, Soul, House, Jazz, Hip Hop, Gospel, Spoken Word, etc...have united to speak out against the decision by The Recording Academy to eliminate The Best Urban Alternative Performance Category and the combining of the categories Best R&B Album & Contemporary R&B Album.
Before speaking publicly about this protest please take the time to educate yourself a little about the Urban Alternative genre and the different styles of R&B music.
Some Key Points:
Urban Alternative is a very vibrant and active genre that is the natural evolution of R&B music. Getting rid of this category stops the growth of the R&B genre.
Meshell Ndegeocello, Jill Scott, Eric Roberson, Janelle Monáe, Cee Lo, Foreign Exchange, India.Arie, YahZarah, Maiysha, Lupe Fiasco, OutKast, Alice Smith, Bilal, Mos Def, Wayna, Erykah Badu.
Past Grammy winners:
India.Arie, Dobet Gnahorè, OutKast, Damian Marley, Gnarls Barkley, Chrisette Michele, Lupe Fiasco, will.i.am
Floetry, Van Hunt, Musiq SoulChild, Janelle Monáe, Eric Roberson, Wayna, Sergio Mendez, Gorillaz, Prince, Maiysha, The Roots
The Urban Alternative community is in agreement with a quote from Paul Simon, "I believe the Grammy's have done a disservice to many talented musicians by combining previously distinct and separate types of music into a catch-all of blurry larger categories. They deserve the separate Grammy acknowledgements that they've been afforded until this change eliminated them."
The Recording Academy is showing that or is choosing not to see the many styles of music within the R&B genre. The mentality that all R&B should and can compete fairly is not realistic especially to the experts within the R&B community.
The Recording Academy failed to include members of the Urban Alternative community when talks began to eliminate this category. It appears as though there was an agenda in place to not include anyone that would speak against eliminating the category. We would like to see The Recording Academy include the Urban Alternative community in future discussions regarding this matter.
There is a distinct difference between Contemporary R&B artists (Keri Hilson, Beyoncè, Usher, Trey Songz, Chris Brown, Ryan Leslie, Ciara) and R&B artists (Maxwell, Sade, D'Angelo, Jill Scott, R. Kelly,Anthony David, Kelly Price, Alicia Keys). We ask that The Recording Academy acknowledge this difference and do the fair thing; separate the categories and let like artists compete against artists that are similar in styles.
· The urban community recognizes the great work that The Recording Academy does to help musicians and music professionals. We applaud the work of MusiCares and The Grammy Foundations. We appreciate the hard work of the employees, officers and volunteers. And in no way does this protest desire to discredit The Recording Academy. But sometimes in a house all the rooms are not in order. In this case our issue is only with the decision to eliminate the Best Urban Alternative Category and the combining of Best R&B Album and Best Contemporary R&B Album.
· If you are a member of The Recording Academy we encourage you to continue your membership and become an active member of change. Get involved and let The Recording Academy know how you feel. There is no need to fear any type of retaliation. The Recording Academy is your Academy and you have the right to protest actions by The Recording Academy that affect you.
If you are not a member of The Recording Academy you still have the right to get involved with this protest. This protest is about the continued disrespect and corporate elimination of R&B music. By creating the Best Urban Alternative Performance category The Recording Academy listened to the efforts of all involved with the creation of this category and gave a voice to a very important musical movement.
This category put the genre of Urban Alternative music and the artists associated with it on a grand scale. The creation of this category exposed artists who push the music forward to a wider audience. Getting rid of this category affects the artists and the whole Urban Alternative community and most importantly all the fans of this music and future fans of this music. So if you are not a member of The Recording Academy we still encourage you to join this protest. Once again, we encourage the urban community to join and become active members of The Recording Academy. If you are hesitant about joining and want to see how this protest is received by The Recording Academy, that's fine too. We still welcome your support of this protest.
How You Can Help:
- We ask that our "celebrities" that have access to the press spread the word about this protest in every interview that they do.
- We ask that music professionals including record company executives, musicians, engineers, publicists, managers, producers, writers, and vocalists, anyone that is against the decision made by The Recording Academy, join in spreading the word by any means necessary.
- Take advantage of all media outlets: TV, radio, vlogs, blogs, all social media outlets, etc...
- Word of mouth is key! Tell your colleagues, friends and anyone connected to the urban community to join the discussion and then join the protest.
- Speak only about what you know. If all you know is that you don't like them getting rid of the Best Urban Alternative Performance category then just say that. Again, we don't want the protest to be about anything other than the objectives stated above.
- EDUCATE YOURSELF ABOUT WHO THE RECORDING ACADEMY IS AND WHAT THEY DO. www.grammy.com