/Spotify CEO Condemns Kanye Wests Awful Rants, But Wont Remove His Music

Spotify CEO Condemns Kanye Wests Awful Rants, But Wont Remove His Music

Kanye West’s music can stay on streaming giant Spotify despite the rap star’s “just awful” antisemitic statements, CEO Daniel Ek said.

West, ditched by Adidas and other corporate partners after recent hate-filled rants on social media and in interviews, didn’t violate Spotify policies against hate speech because his vitriol doesn’t involve music or podcasts on the platform, Ek, who started the streaming service in 2006, told Reuters.

“It’s really just his music, and his music doesn’t violate our policy,” said Ek, who condemned West’s antisemitic remarks as “just awful comments.”

“It’s up to his label, if they want to take action or not,” Ek added. He said he would “obviously respect” the label’s wishes, but won’t remove West’s music without a request.

Def Jam, a Universal Music label that owns the copyright to West’s songs from 2002 to 2016, hasn’t asked for streaming services to remove his work. The rapper’s Grammy-winning recordings also remain available on other services, including Apple Music and YouTube.

Endeavor talent agency CEO Ari Emmanuel and other entertainment industry figures have urged Spotify to end its relationship with West. The talent agency giant CAA dropped West, and so many corporate partners have dumped him that he’s fallen from the Forbes billionaires list.

Spotify did remove music by R. Kelly and XXXTentacion in 2018 after scandals involving sexual assault and violence, according to Pitchfork. The streamer later reversed itself on XXXTentacion’s recordings, concluding he didn’t violate Spotify policies.

“We rolled this out wrong and could have done a much better job,” Ek told Variety at the time of his company’s guidelines. “The whole goal with this was to make sure that we didn’t have hate speech. It was never about punishing one individual artist or even naming one individual artist.”

Ek decried West's antisemitic statements as "awful" but doesn't plan to remove his music.
Ek decried West’s antisemitic statements as “awful” but doesn’t plan to remove his music.

TORU YAMANAKA via Getty Images

West caused an uproar with a tweet earlier this month that he was going “death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE.” He later claimed in multiple interviews that a cabal of Jewish businessmen was targeting him.

Def Jam joined the condemnation of West’s antisemitism, but didn’t address whether it would ask streaming services to drop his music.

“Def Jam’s relationship with Ye as a recording artist, its partnership with the GOOD Music label venture and Ye’s merchandise agreement with Bravado all ended in 2021,” the label told The Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday. “There is no place for antisemitism in our society.”

Original Source