R. Kelly, XXXTentacion, and Tay-K were among the artists taken off of Spotify’s playlists yesterday under their new “Hate and Hateful Conduct Policy,” and all artists spoke out against the decision. The New York Times reported on a statement from R. Kelly’s management contending that the controversial singer has “never has been accused of hate.” The Times also publicized an email from XXXTentacion to Spotify asking if other artists would also have their music removed from mood playlists, curated playlists such as the influential RapCaviar, and other editorial content on the streaming service. The email listed over a dozen artists who have also been accused (or charged) of domestic abuse, statutory rape, sexual misconduct and other abhorrence against women and children. The list included some other still active acts such as Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, Michael Jackson, Seal, Fabolous, 69, Nelly, Miguel, Trey Songz, and Dr. Dre.
The official Instagram account of Tay-K, who is still incarcerated on a capital murder charge, expressed dissatisfaction with the decision, noting that “my songs have been removed from Spotify because I’m being accused of something I haven’t been convicted of.”
Spotify later clarified that “we can’t get into an artist-by-artist” discussion. They said they work with their partners “on a case-by-case basis.” Time will tell if any more artists are added to the list, or if other streaming services introduce similar policies.