The Grammy Awards managed to go viral this year like every other year, but not with the award-winning artists and the red carpet, this time with Virgil Abloh, who is mentioned in the In Memoriam section as ‘Hip Hop Fashion Designer’.
Virgil Abloh, creative director of Louis Vuitton menswear and Off-White’s mastermind, who passed away in November 2021, was introduced as ‘Hip Hop Fashion Designer’ in the Grammy Awards In Memoriam section. So what does Hip Hop Fashion Designer even mean?
In fact, what has happened is ,also in many award ceremonies that can be considered as ‘prestigious’ in the industry, happened once again. Of course, this is not the first time that we have encountered the restriction of black artists to the category of ‘urban/hip hop’, as in other award shows. But this time around, for Virgil Abloh, an architect, a DJ, a creative director and pioneer in many fields of contemporary art, this category is rather limiting than ever.
Abloh, who started working with Kanye West’s agency DONDA, was very successful with album cover art he created for names such as Kid Cudi and Asap rocky, as well as West’s ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’ and ‘Yeezus’ albums. In 2011, he was nominated for a Grammy with his cover art for Kanye West and Jay-Z’s album ‘Watch the Throne’; classifying a multidisciplinary artist, who has become a hot topic with the designs he produced for many artists such as Drake, Frank Ocean and Rihanna, and who has been very successful in the field of music with his EP with Boyz Noize, is actually an indication that Virgil’s works are not well known. In addition, it is obvious that his designs are unique and characteristic, even if interpreted only in fashion. It would not be wrong to say that the category of ‘urban/hip hop’ has six full meanings. For this reason, the Grammy Awards unfortunately did not surprise many people.
Of course, this situation is not limited to Virgil, we heard that Kanye West questioned what the ‘urban’ category was in an interview before and did not accept it. Similarly, last year, Tyler, the Creator, also debuted and said that the category ‘urban’ is the politically correct version of saying the ‘n’ word.