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Spotify boss confirms Kanye West’s music won’t be removed from platform

Written by on October 26, 2022

Spotify boss Daniel Ek has confirmed that Kanye West’s back catalogue won’t be removed from the music streaming service following his controversial behaviour.

The Stronger rapper has lost a number of brand deals and business partnerships because of the antisemitic remarks he has repeatedly made on social media and in interviews.

Speaking to Reuters on Tuesday, Ek explained that West’s music does not violate their anti-hate policies and so his songs will remain on the platform.

“It’s really just his music, and his music doesn’t violate our policy,” he explained. “It’s up to his label, if they want to take action or not.”

And if his label asked for the rapper’s work to be removed, Ek’s team would “respect their wishes”.

Ek added that if the 45-year-old made his “awful comments” on a podcast or a recording, they would have been pulled from Spotify for violating its policies.

Def Jam owns the copyright to West’s recordings from 2002 until 2016 and distributed his music up until last year. In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, they took a stand against hate speech but made no comment about removing West’s songs.

“Def Jam’s relationship with Ye as a recording artist, Def Jam’s partnership with the GOOD Music label venture and Ye’s merchandise agreement with Bravado all ended in 2021,” Def Jam representatives said. “There is no place for antisemitism in our society. We are deeply committed to combating antisemitism and every other form of prejudice.”

West has lost his partnerships with Adidas and Balenciaga and has been dropped by his talent agency as a result of the controversy.

His back catalogue can also still be found on Apple Music and YouTube Music.

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