Kanye West’s music will not be removed from Spotify

“It’s really just his music, and his music doesn’t violate our policy,” CEO Daniel Ek said

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek has criticised Kanye West‘s antisemitic comments, but says his music will not be removed from the streaming service.

In the last few days, the rapper has been dropped by Adidas, after the company faced pressure to end its lucrative sneaker deal with West. After also losing deals with Def JamJP Morgan ChaseBalenciaga and his lawyer and booking agency – West’s net worth has reportedly plummeted from $2billion (£1.3billion) to $400million (£348million).

West’s recent deluge of controversies stemmed from a stunt at this year’s Paris Fashion Week, where he wore a shirt emblazoned with the white nationalist dogwhistle “White Lives Matter”. He was heavily criticised for the tone-deaf move, leading the rapper to doubletriple and quadruple down on his viewpoint. In the process – publicly responding to a call-out from Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs – West made an antisemitic comment on Instagram, after which he was booted from the platform.

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In a new interview with Reuters about Ye and his recent comments, Ek admitted that the views were “awful” but that Kanye’s music itself does not violate Spotify’s anti-hate policies, and it would be up to his former label Def Jam to request removal of the music.
“It’s really just his music, and his music doesn’t violate our policy,” Ek said. “It’s up to his label, if they want to take action or not.” Ek said that Ye’s antisemitic comments would have been pulled from Spotify if he had made them on a podcast or recording, as per their hate speech policy, but that the rapper hadn’t made such comments.
In a statement shared with Reuters, Def Jam added: “There is no place for antisemitism in our society.”

Daniel Ek, chief executive officer of Spotify
Daniel Ek, chief executive officer of Spotify Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

West has refused to accept that the term “anti-semitism” exists because he claims it’s “not factual”, but he has since offered something of an “apology” to those whom he’s offended with his comments.

This week (October 24), Kim Kardashian said she “[stands] together with the Jewish community” in the wake of her ex-husband’s comments.

“Hate speech is never OK or excusable,” she tweeted. “I stand together with the Jewish community and call on the terrible violence and hateful rhetoric towards them to come to an immediate end.”

In another recent TV interview, West said he didn’t believe in the term “antisemitism”. Speaking to Piers Morgan (who he referred to as “a Karen”), he said he knew his antisemitic comments were racist, explained why he was “jealous” of Jewish culture, and claimed that Quentin Tarantino stole West’s idea for Django Unchained.

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