Tyler, the Creator has mixed feelings about his Grammy win for Best Rap Album.
After collecting his statue for "Igor," the artist told press backstage that while he's grateful to be recognized by the mainstream music industry, he also feels like the nomination itself was a "backhanded compliment" given that his music shouldn't necessarily be categorized as "rap" at all.
"I'm half and half on it. On one side, I'm very grateful that what I made could be acknowledged In the world like this," he said. "But it also sucks that whenever we — and I mean guys that look like me — do anything that's genre-bending, they always put it in a 'rapper/urban' category. Which is — I don't like that 'urban' word. It's just a politically correct way to say the N-word to me."
He continued, "Why can't we just be pop? ... Half of me feels like the rap nomination was a backhanded compliment. Like, oh, my little cousin wants to play the game, let's give him an unplugged controller so he can shut up and feel good about it."
The response followed a question from a Variety reporter about the ongoing controversy regarding various forms of alleged misconduct within the Recording Academy.
Tyler the Creator backstage at the #GRAMMYs:— Jennifer Kline (@jenniferkayline) January 27, 2020
“It sucks that whenever we — and I mean guys that look like me — do anything genre-bending, they put it in a ‘rapper/urban’ category. I don’t like that ‘urban’ word. It’s just a politically correct way to say the N-word to me.” pic.twitter.com/M6pQeI7LNp
The night marked Tyler, the Creator's first Grammy win, although he was previously nominated in 2018, also for Best Rap Album. He also received a nomination as a featured artist in 2013 for Frank Ocean's album "Channel Orange."
This year's Grammy performers and winners have remained largely tight-lipped about alleged corruption and sexual misconduct issues within the Academy. CEO Deborah Dugan was reportedly trying to clean up the grave internal issues when the organization abruptly placed her on administrative leave less than two weeks before the Grammys.