There has been a considerable outcry over Spotify’s new “hate” policy where music of certain artists including R. Kelly and XXXTentacion was removed from playlists, in a mission to not “promote” them on the platform.
But according to a report from Bloomberg, Spotify will begin walking back its decision to ban the said artists based on their “hateful conduct” and will “eventually restore songs” by rapper XXXTentacion. The decision on R. Kelly’s music has not been taken yet as most industry people consider him to be “irredeemable.”
Several prominent musicians, including @kendricklamar, had threatened to boycott Spotify if it didn't change its new policy regarding “hateful conduct.''
— Lucas Shaw (@Lucas_Shaw) May 24, 2018
Spotify’s policy was announced earlier this month via a statement against hate content and hateful conduct. “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,” Spotify had said.
But the decision drew flak from various quarters of the industry with some calling it “censoring the music” while others saying the streaming service should not pick and choose artists to ban at their will. One of the artists who has supported that notion is Kendrick Lamar. The rapper’s rep has reached out to Spotify’s Chief Executive Officer Daniel Ek and head of artist relations Troy Carter to express frustration and also threatened to pull his music from the service if the company continued to enforce its current policy.
— Kendrick Lamar (@kendricklamar) August 26, 2017
Kendrick’s support in this matter where a controversial artist like XXXTentacion is involved is not unexpected. Last year, he surprised fans by tweeting his support for rapper’s last album 17, writing, “listen to this album if you feel anything. raw thoughts.”