By Ashley Coffey
May 11, 2018
During a decision announced yesterday, streaming service Spotify stated that it would no longer include music by R.Kelly or XXXTenacion on its popular playlists such as Rap Caviar, Discover Weekly and New Music Friday. In a statement made to Billboard, Spotify's vp/head of content and marketplace policy Jonathan Prince said:
"[R.Kelly's] music will still be available on the service, but Spotify will not actively promote it."
This provision is part of the company's new "Hate Content and Hateful Content" policy that extends from their decision last year to remove white-supremacist bands from their platform. To ensure that the tens of millions of tracks on Spotify are monitored efficiently, they've teamed up with organizations such as The Anti-Defamation League, Color of Change, GLAAD and the International Network Against Cyber Hate.
Although Spotify has not openly announced its support for social justice movements like #TimesUp or #MeToo it's probable that their decision to pinpoint R.Kelly as the poster child for their new policy is because of the #MuteRKelly hashtag. Or maybe it's because of the fact that the R&B singer was accused of sexual abuse and imprisonment of women under threats of violence and familial harm this month on top of the numerous accusations he has faced for the past two decades.
Both R.Kelly and XXXTenacion have been accused of crimes against women, but neither have been convicted. This has left some to wonder if other artists who have been convicted of crimes like Chris Brown (felony assault against his girlfriend), Dr. Dre (misdemeanor battery charges against female journalist) or Vince Neil of Motley Crüe (assaulting a prostitute) will have their music pulled from the site as well.