Spotify are taking measures to protect their core values and have made the decision to remove both R. Kelly and XXXTENTACION’s music from their playlists and algorithmic recommendations.
R. Kelly has been accused of various sexual crimes including running a cult in his home over the past few years and XXXTENTACION is currently fighting charges for battery, false imprisonment, and witness tampering.
Company VP of content and marketplace policy Jonathan Prince told Billboard this about R. Kelly’s music:
“We are removing R. Kelly’s music from all Spotify owned and operated playlists and algorithmic recommendations such as Discover Weekly. His music will still be available on the service, but Spotify will not actively promote it. We don’t censor content because of an artist’s or creator’s behavior, but we want our editorial decisions – what we choose to program – to reflect our values. When an artist or creator does something that is especially harmful or hateful, it may affect the ways we work with or support that artist or creator. When we look at promotion, we look at issues around hateful conduct, where you have an artist or another creator who has done something off-platform that is so particularly out of line with our values, egregious, in a way that it becomes something that we don’t want to associate ourselves with. So we’ve decided that in some circumstances, we may choose to not work with that artist or their content in the same way — to not program it, to not playlist it, to not do artist marketing campaigns with that artist.”
XXXTENTACION’s “SAD!” single was removed from Spotify’s RapCaviar playlist, which has over 9.5 million followers, under their new hate content and hateful conduct policy. His team has responded to the streaming service asking why a list including Gene Simmons, David Bowie, Dr. Dre, Michael Jackson, Seal, Miguel, Trey Songz, 6ix9ine, and others haven’t been removed for their own checkered pasts.
Incarcerated Texas rapper Tay-K broke out with his massive single “The Race” last year and now falls victim to the updated terms as well.
Spotify is likely to receive a ton of backlash from record labels over the new changes as their artist’s revenue streams slowly get cut off over the coming months.
50 Cent weighed in on the situation with a tweet earlier today:
“Spotify is wrong for what there doing to artist like R Kelly and xxxtentacion. There not even convicted of any thing.”
See 50’s tweet below and expect more of your favorite artists to be removed from playlists soon.