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Day 1: Kendrick Lamar, Kelala, Vince Staples Tear Down The FYF Fest
Cornrow Kenny, also known as Kendrick Lamar, headlined the Day 1 stage for the FYF Fest. | Photo by Ural Garrett for Okayplayer.
Photo Credit: Ural Garrett for Okayplayer

Top Dawg Confirms He Threatened to Pull TDE Music Off of Spotify Over Hate Policy

Day 1: Kendrick Lamar, Kelala, Vince Staples Tear Down The FYF Fest Photo Credit: Ural Garrett for Okayplayer

Top Dawg gives his side of the Hateful Conduct Policy debate

Last week, a report came out that rap kingpin Kendrick Lamar threatened to pull his music from Spotify if the streaming service didn't reverse its decision to ban XXXTentacion from its promoted playlists, under the guidelines of a new Hateful Conduct policy.

Spotify quickly reversed its decision, bringing XXX back to its flagship playlist Rap Caviar.  

READ:Kendrick Lamar Reportedly Threatened To Remove Music From Spotify Following XXXTentacion Ban

In a new interview with Billboard, Anthony "Top Dawg" Tiffith, CEO of Top Dawg Entertainment, gave his side of the story. He said he contacted Troy Carter, Spotify's global head of creator services, and told him why he was concerned:

I don't think it's right for artists to be censored, especially in our culture. How did they just pick those [artists] out? How come they didn't pick out any others from any other genres or any other different cultures? There [are] so many other artists that have different things going on, and they could've picked anybody. But it seems to me that they're constantly picking on hip-hop culture.

Top Dawg also spoke to Spotify's founder and CEO Daniel Ek. The CEO said he was ready to take action

My whole thing with them was, we gotta fix this situation, and if it can't be fixed, then there's gonna be a real problem, we're gonna have to start pulling our music from the site. I was willing to get the whole culture to back out.

READ: Spotify Removes R. Kelly And XXXTentacion From Official Playlists

Speaking about Ek. Top Dawg said:

His intentions were good in terms of what they were trying to do, but it just came across wrong.

This interview was published on the same day that Spotify officially canceled the Hateful Conduct policy. In a statement, the company said the "language was too vague" and that they "didn't spend enough time getting input from our own team and key partners before sharing new guidelines.”

They also wrote:

We don’t aim to play judge and jury. We aim to connect artists and fans — and Spotify playlists are a big part of how we do that...Across all genres, our role is not to regulate artists. Therefore, we are moving away from implementing a policy around artist conduct.

However, it should be noted, that while Spotify has softened his stance on XXX, they still have not added R. Kelly to its playlists. And, according to the NY Times, they don't attend to.

Source: Billboard, NYTimes