Earlier today, Spotify launched a new “hate content and hateful conduct” policy that resulted in a playlist ban for R. Kelly and XXXTentacion. Now, the controversial artists are fighting back against the streaming giant.
Kelly’s rep denied any wrongdoings by their client. “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.
“Mr. Kelly for 30 years has sung songs about his love and passion for women. He is innocent of the false and hurtful accusations in the ongoing smear campaign against him, waged by enemies seeking a payoff. He never has been convicted of a crime, nor does he have any pending criminal charges against him.”
R. Kelly's management team responded to Spotify's decision to take him off their playlists, saying the music streaming service's "actions are without merit." pic.twitter.com/YWn8ZmG2VA
— Krystie Lee Yandoli (@KrystieLYandoli) May 10, 2018
The rep went on to say that Spotify promotes music from convicted felons and others who have committed hateful acts. “Spotify has the right to promote whatever music it chooses, and in this case its actions are without merit. It is acting based on false and unproven allegations. It is bowing to social-media fads and picking sides in a fame-seeking dispute over matters that have nothing to do with serving customers,” the rep added.
“Meanwhile, though,” the statement continued, “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. Mr. Kelly falls into none of these categories, and it is unfortunate, and shortsighted that Spotify fails to recognize this.”
Tentacion’s rep did not issue a statement. Instead, the rep asked if Spotify will also remove various other artists from playlists due to allegations, including Michael Jackson, David Bowie, James Brown, Miles Davis, 6ix9ine, Nelly, Miguel, Trey Songz, Fabolous, and Dr. Dre.
a response from XXXTentacion’s team on Spotify's decision to remove him from playlists pic.twitter.com/ivtEDJ2yGS
— Joe Coscarelli (@joecoscarelli) May 10, 2018
Spotify launched its new initiative by saying it wouldn’t tolerate hateful content. “We do not tolerate hate content on Spotify — content that expressly and principally promotes, advocates, or incites hatred or violence against a group or individual based on characteristics, including, race, religion, gender identity, sex, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, veteran status, or disability,” they explained in a statement.
Time’s Up applauded these efforts, but others criticized the streaming giant. 50 Cent, for example, voiced his displeasure on Twitter. “Spotify is wrong for what there doing to artist like R Kelly and xxxtentacion,” he tweeted. “There not even convicted of any thing.” Kelly responded to the sentiment with gratitude. “@50cent thanks for the support fam,” he wrote. “No weapon formed…”