UPDATE: Spotify Removes R. Kelly & XXXTentacion From Official Playlists

Update: Spotify has also removed controversial rapper XXXTentacion from its playlists. XXXTentacion’s hit “SAD!” was on Rap Caviar, Spotify’s most popular playlist, as of yesterday. Now it’s gone, according to Billboard. XXX’s has had a number of allegations thrown his way, including battery, false imprisonment, and witness tampering.

Spin is also reporting that Tay-K, the controversial rapper who is fighting a murder charge, has also been removed from Spotify’s playlists.

See below for original story.

It’s going to be a lot harder to find R. Kelly on Spotify

Spotify has announced that it’s removing R. Kelly from all of its editorial and algorithmic playlists. They are doing it under the guidelines of a Hate Content & Hateful Conduct policy that they just established. In that new policy, there is a line that states:

When an artist or creator does something that is especially harmful or hateful (for example, violence against children and sexual violence), it may affect the ways we work with or support that artist or creator.

So, you will still be able to access R. Kelly’s music on Spotify, if you choose. You just won’t find Kelly on featured Spotify playlists, like Rap Caviar or New Music Friday.

READ: R. Kelly Accused Of Training 14-Year-Old Girl As His Sex “Pet”

Spotify released a statement to Billboard, the outlet that broke the story. In the statement, Spotify said:

We are removing R. Kelly’s music from all Spotify owned and operated playlists and algorithmic recommendations such as Discover Weekly. His music will still be available on the service, but Spotify will not actively promote it. We don’t censor content because of an artist’s or creator’s behavior, but we want our editorial decisions — what we choose to program — to reflect our values. When an artist or creator does something that is especially harmful or hateful, it may affect the ways we work with or support that artist or creator.

Billboard also spoke with Jonathan Prince, Spotify’s VP/head of content and marketplace policy. He said:

When we look at promotion, we look at issues around hateful conduct, where you have an artist or another creator who has done something off-platform that is so particularly out of line with our values, egregious, in a way that it becomes something that we don’t want to associate ourselves with…So we’ve decided that in some circumstances, we may choose to not work with that artist or their content in the same way — to not program it, to not playlist it, to not do artist marketing campaigns with that artist.

As of now, R. Kelly is the only artist they have banned from its playlist.

READ: The Women of Color of Time’s Up Throw Their Support Behind the #MuteRKelly Campaign

There has never been this much heat on R. Kelly, who has been dogged with sexual abuse allegations for decades. Those allegations include sexual violence, making child pornography, coercion, and running a “sex cult,” Kelly has denied all of these allegations 

A #MuteRKelly campaign was started in April in hopes to start a mass boycott of the singer. And Lifetime has just announced that they are developing a documentary centered around sexual allegations R. Kelly has gathered throughout the years.

Source: Billboard


Dimas Sanfiorenzo

Dimas Sanfiorenzo is the Managing Editor for Okayplayer. He specializes in coverage centered around music, pop culture, and politics. Email:

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