Thursday, Spotify announced that under its new hate content and hateful conduct policy, the platform would no longer promote any of R. Kelly’s music, following a string of disturbing abuse and sexual coercion allegations against the artist.
Shortly after, the platform confirmed to the New York Times that it removed at least one of XXXTentacion’s songs from the flagship playlist RapCaviar, followed by 9.5 million users. “SAD!” was at the No. 8 spot on the playlist on Wednesday.
Both Kelly and XXXTentacion’s music remain on the platform, but Spotify has pledged to stop actively promoting music from artists who don’t reflect the platform’s values, or who “does something that is especially harmful or hateful.”
For some time now, XXXTentacion has been embroiled in a number of controversies and been in and out of jail as a result of an ongoing court battle. In 2015, he was charged with aggravated battery of a pregnant woman, face imprisonment, domestic battery by strangulation, and witness-tampering. He was arrested in October 2016, eventually released, only to be sent back to jail when prosecutors charged him with attempting to coerce the woman in question to not testify against him. He was in house arrest since December 2017, but was released in March of this year. His most recent album, ?, debuted at No. 1.
Spotify only confirmed to Billboard that R. Kelly’s music has been removed from its playlists. In addition, Spin reports that it appears that Tay-K's “After You,” has also been removed from Spotify's playlists; "Hard" a song by No Jumper featuring Tay-K, is still on the Most Necessary playlist at the time of writing. Tay-K was recently denied bond in the court case for his alleged involvement in a fatal July 2016 shooting. The rapper has also allegedly been involved in another fatal shooting at a Chick-fil-a restaurant in San Antonio as well as the robbery of a 65-year-old man in Arlington.
Other artists may be similarly affected by Spotify's new policy, but for now it remains unclear if, and how, the platform will announce any action it takes to include or not include certain artists in its material.
When reached for comment, a representative for XXXTentacion shared a list of artists and asked, "Will Spotify remove all the artists listed below from playlists?"
Gene Simmons of KISS (sexual battery)
Red Hot Chili Peppers (sexual assault)
David Bowie (rape allegations)
Real Estate (sexual misconduct)
Backstreet Boys (Nick Carter - sexual assault)
Ozzy Osbourne (domestic abuse)
Ace of Base (Founding member is a Neo-Nazi)
Seal (sexual battery)
Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin (rape of minor)
James Brown (domestic violence)
Michael Jackson (sexual abuse of minor)
Miles Davis (domestic abuse)
Sid Vicious of Sex Pistols (domestic violence/murder)
6ix9ine (sexual misconduct w/ minor)
Nelly (sexual assault)
Miguel (sexual misconduct)
Trey Songz (domestic violence)
Fabolous (domestic violence)
Dr. Dre (domestic abuse)