Music News: Spotify introduces 'hateful conduct' policy, pulls R. Kelly from playlists


A Spotify banner hangs from the New York Stock Exchange.
A Spotify banner hangs from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on the morning that the music streaming service began trading shares at the NYSE on April 3, 2018 in New York City. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Spotify has pulled the music of veteran pop R&B star R. Kelly and young rapper XXXtentacion from official playlists and recommendation features, citing a new "hate content and hateful conduct" policy.

"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," said the streaming giant in a statement. "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."

R. Kelly has been the subject of numerous allegations of sexual misconduct, many involving minors. XXXtentacion "is facing charges in Florida that include aggravated battery of a pregnant woman and witness tampering," notes the New York Times. A spokesperson for the latter artist asked whether Spotify will be giving similarly critical treatment to music by artists such as Michael Jackson, Gene Simmons, and Dr. Dre, all of whom have been accused of violence or sexual misconduct.

"As you can imagine this is a complicated process with room for debate and disagreement, so we can't get into an artist-by-artist discussion," said a Spotify rep.

Meanwhile, singer-songwriter Jessie Reyez has lodged an accusation of sexual misconduct against Noel "Detail" Fisher, a producer best known for his work on Beyoncé’s hit "Drunk in Love." Two other female artists have accused Fisher, who Reyez says inspired her song "Gatekeeper." (Billboard)

YouTube takes Billboard on

If you say a song "went to number one," people will assume you're talking about the Billboard Hot 100, the chart that's served for decades as the definitive index of pop hits. Now, YouTube wants to change that assumption. Google's video streaming service has debuted a trending music chart and tweaked its existing charts for top songs, top artists, and top music videos. Meanwhile, Billboard has tweaked its own charts to devalue free music streams — including all YouTube streams.

YouTube isn't just any streaming service: it has eight times as many users as Spotify and Apple Music combined. Soon, it will roll out its own paid streaming feature for people who want to skip ads.

As of this writing, Drake’s "Nice for What" is number one on Billboard's Hot 100, while an all-star remix of the Nio Garcia and Darrell song "Te Bote" is number one on YouTube. (Rolling Stone)

Chance the Rapper joins Trolls 2

We're all getting trolled by Chance the Rapper. What that means is that Chance is taking a voice role in the forthcoming animated movie Trolls 2, the sequel to the 2016 movie that produced Justin Timberlake’s smash hit "Can't Stop the Feeling!" Chance will also have a song on the soundtrack of the movie, which will be released on April 17...2020. (Pitchfork)

Everyone wants to sing "Superstition" with Stevie

Stevie Wonder held a party and performance on Wednesday night in Los Angeles. When the music legend played "Superstition," he got some star-studded help from Donald Glover (Childish Gambino), Kelly Rowland (Destiny's Child), and Jessie J. (Pitchfork)

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