Kendrick Lamar was planning an exodus after he heard Spotify was looking to ban XXXTentacion for his questionable acts. Two weeks ago, XXX and R. Kelly both got the axe from the streaming service after it had devised a hateful conduct policy. Naturally the two musicians were the first to go, as was teenage phenom Tay-K. This has caused an internal rift at the company, as several executives were not in agreement with the decision. The Head of Artist Relations Troy Carter had to persuaded by CEO Daniel Ek to unpack his bags.
According to the Guardian, a rep for Kendrick Lamar personally contacted Daniel Ek to voice his frustrations, even going as far as to threaten pulling the Compton rapper’s music from the platform. Other artist were rumored to have called out of their own volition, sensing the hateful conduct act could lead to arbitrary business decisions, more so than ethical ones. Listeners have a difficult task ahead of themselves. Once they’ve invested so much in an artist, does their record of conduct become a point worth defending. Sometimes it’s best to cut your losses.
TDE’s Punch said, “Whoa. Are they censoring the music? That’s dangerous.” when asked to speak on the matter. Considering Punch was readying an official TDE playlist for the streaming service, Spotify’s next move is either boom or bust. It doesn’t help that hip hop’s sense of community makes for an all-in-one deal at the bargaining table.