(AllHipHop News) Spotify's decision to bar music by certain artists from the service's editorial and algorithmic playlists has caused a stir in the industry. Tunes by R&B legend R. Kelly and Hip Hop newcomer XXXTentacion were reportedly among the banned records.
"We appreciate Spotify for continuing to make R. Kelly’s songs accessible to millions of people, although it will stop listing his songs on its official playlists. Spotify is adopting a new ‘Hate Content & Hateful Conduct’ policy. R. Kelly never has been accused of hate, and the lyrics he writes express love and desire," stated a representative for the Chicago-raised vocalist.
The response also pointed out that Kelly has not been convicted of a crime and doesn't have any pending criminal charges against him. In addition, the rep accused Spotify of basing its decision on false allegations and social-media fads.
"Meanwhile, though, Spotify promotes numerous other artists who are convicted felons, others who have been arrested on charges of domestic violence and artists who sing lyrics that are violent and anti-women in nature," read the statement.
XXXTentacion reacted to Spotify's new policy as well. New York Times music reporter Joe Coscarelli uploaded an image from XXX where the ? album creator questioned why acts such as Gene Simmons, David Bowie, Michael Jackson, James Brown, 6ix9ine, Nelly, Trey Songz, Fabolous, and Dr. Dre weren't banned too.
Even 50 Cent took issue with the leading music streamer. The veteran rapper tweeted, "Spotify is wrong for what there doing to artist like R Kelly and xxxtentacion. There not even convicted of any thing." [sic]
Spotify on removing R.Kelly from playlists:
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.
On the company's new policies:
To help us identify hate content, we have partnered with rights advocacy groups, including The Southern Poverty Law Center, The Anti-Defamation League, Color Of Change, Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ), GLAAD, Muslim Advocates, and the International Network Against Cyber Hate. We also built an internal content monitoring tool, ‘Spotify AudioWatch,’ which identifies content on our platform that has been flagged as hate content on specific international registers. And we listen to our users – if you think something is hate content, please let us know and we will review it carefully against our policy.