10 Artists Who Should Be Removed from Spotify’s Playlists for Questionable Behavior
On Thursday (May 10), Spotify announced they will remove the music of R. Kelly and XXXTentacion from all of the service's playlists as part of a new hate content and hateful conduct policy. Their discographies will still be available to stream, but the company will not actively promote them.
Both men have been accused of varying degrees of assault. R. Kelly has been trailed by reports of sexual coercion and abuse against young women for years, while XXXTentacion, a Florida rapper best known for hits including "Sad!" and "Changes," is facing charges including aggravated battery of a pregnant woman and witness tampering. (Kelly and XXXTentacion, whose real name is Jahseh Onfroy, have each denied the respective claims).
So far, they are the only artists who have been impacted by Spotify's new policy, but it marks an important, if marginal, step for the music industry. Refusing to glorify the work of alleged abusers sets a precedent for what kind of musicians can and cannot be successful, and sends a message that this kind of behavior will not continue to be tolerated — even if that message has yet to break outside the limited confines of Spotify playlists.
Now, as the streaming continues to navigate which music it will and won't stand behind, here are 10 other artists worth reconsidering under the policy.
Brown got into a physical altercation with then-girlfriend Rihanna in 2009, after which Brown was charged with felony assault and making criminal threats. He pled guilty to the former charge and accepted a plea deal that included five years probation, six months of community service, and one year of mandatory domestic violence counseling. A judge also instituted a five-year restraining order that required Brown to say at least 50 yards away from Rihanna at all times.
As of May 2018, he is being sued for allegedly co-conspiring, aiding, and abetting in a 2017 sexual assault that took place during a party at his house.
The Brooklyn-born rapper pleaded guilty in 2015 to the use of a child in a sexual performance.
Jesse Lacey (Brand New)
The Brand New frontman has been accused of sexual misconduct with a minor, including solicitation of explicit photographs. In response to the allegations, he shared an apology on Facebook in November.
Gene Simmons (KISS)
The KISS singer has been accused of sexual battery, gender violence, and assault. He has denied the allegations.
The rapper has been accused of sexual assault by three women. He has denied all allegations.
Kodak Black has had a string of arrests including charges of child neglect, grand theft of a firearm, and possession of marijuana. He is now facing trial for criminal sexual conduct; his lawyers say he is innocent.
Nick Carter (Backstreet Boys)
The Backstreet Boys alum is under investigation for an accusation of rape. He responded to the claims in a statement to People, saying, in part, "This is the first that I am hearing about these accusations, nearly two decades later. It is contrary to my nature and everything I hold dear to intentionally cause someone discomfort or harm.”
"The Race" rapper is facing a pair of murder charges, for which he maintains his innocence.
Ethan Kath (Crystal Castles)
Kath, a founding member of Crystal Castles, has been accused of sexual, psychological, and physical abuse by his former bandmate Alice Glass as well as three other unnamed women. Through his lawyer, he has denied the allegations.
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Former music executive Julie Farman claimed she was sexually harassed by two members of the band in 1990.