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Spotify criticizes Kanye West’s comments

As companies around the world have cut ties with Kanye West, Spotify said it would not remove the rapper’s music.

As companies around the world, including Adidas AG, cut ties with Kanye West, music streaming service Spotify Technology SA said it would not remove the rapper’s music unless his label requested it.

Music by the artist now known as Ye did not violate the anti-hate policy, Spotify chief Daniel Ek told Reuters.

The rapper’s recent anti-Semitic comments are “just awful comments,” and would have warranted removal from Spotify for violating its policy, which bans hate speech, had they been on a podcast or recording, Ek said.

But none of that content can be found on Spotify.

“It’s really just his music, and his music doesn’t violate our policies,” Ek said, adding, “It’s up to his label whether they want to take action or not.”

That didn’t happen.

Universal Music’s Def Jam label, which copyrighted West’s recordings from 2002 to 2016, and continued to distribute his releases until last year, issued a statement condemning Ye’s comments, saying, “There is no place for anti-Semitism in our society”.

It did not ask for the removal of Ye’s recordings, many of which are critically acclaimed works. The music can also be found on Apple Music and YouTube Music.

Hollywood power broker Ari Emanuel called on major streaming services to end their business relationships with Ye after the rapper promoted anti-Semitic conspiracy theories in interviews and on social media, where he tweeted that he was going “death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE”.

Since the comments, Ye has lost high-profile and lucrative partnerships. Creative Artists Agency, one of the world’s largest talent agencies, no longer represents him, film and television studio MRC Entertainment has dropped a documentary, and sneaker maker Adidas ended a partnership estimated to be worth more than $500 million in royalty payments and other fees on Tuesday. .

However, Spotify has faced backlash when it punished musicians for their personal misconduct.

The streaming service removed R Kelly’s music from its playlists and endorsements in 2018 following allegations of sexual misconduct. It backtracked on the policy after other artists threatened boycotts, instead giving users a mute button to block certain artists.

When Ye’s label asks for the rapper’s catalog to be removed, Ek said, “Of course we will respect their wishes.”

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