Spotify Won’t Drop Kanye West

( After making a series of overtly anti-Semitic remarks in recent weeks, rapper Kanye West has found himself on the receiving end of a whole lot of blowback.

Retailers began discontinuing the rapper’s Yeezy-brand apparel. Foot Locker, The RealReal, The Gap, Balenciaga, and other businesses also pulled Kanye’s products.

Creative Arts Agency, one of the largest talent agencies in the world, dropped Kanye over the remarks. Film and television studio MRC Entertainment shelved a planned Kanye documentary. And shoe-maker Adidas announced that it ended its partnership with Kanye estimated to be worth over $500 million in royalty payments and other fees. And Apple Music pulled Kanye West Essentials Playlist.

But much as it did when the Outrage Mob came for Joe Rogan, streaming service Spotify has no plans to drop Kanye’s catalog unless his record label asks them to remove it.

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek recently told Reuters that while the rapper’s anti-Semitic comments were “just awful,” and would have been removed from Spotify for violating its policies if they had been made on a recording or podcast, since none of the comments Kanye made are found on Spotify, the platform will not remove him.

Ek explained that Spotify just has Kanye’s music “and his music doesn’t violate our policy.” He added that it was really up to Kanye’s record label “if they want to take action or not.”

Universal Music’s Def Jam label, which owns the copyright to Kanye’s recordings from 2002 to 2016 and continued to distribute his music until last year, released a statement condemning Kanye’s anti-Semitic remarks, saying there was “no place for antisemitism in our society.”

Def Jam did not ask that Kanye’s music be removed from any platforms.

In 2018, Spotify removed R Kelly’s music from its playlists and recommendations after he was accused of sexual misconduct. After other artists threatened to boycott Spotify over the move, it walked back the policy, instead, adding a mute button so users could block particular artists.

Ek told Reuters if Def Jam asks Spotify to remove Kanye’s catalog, “obviously, we’ll respect their wishes.