Spotify has paid tribute to late rapper XXXTentacion, just weeks after pulling his music from the platforms curated playlists following their now defunct “hate policy”.
The 20-year-old rapper died yesterday in a drive-by shooting attack in Florida. XXXTentacion’s short career was marked with much controversy, as multiple counts of graphic domestic abuse and violence were made against him over the last two years. In May, Spotify removed the rapper’s music from its “editorial or algorithmic playlists on its service” under a “hate policy” that ceased to promote music that “advocates, or incites hatred or violence against a group or individual.”
Spotify faced its share of criticism after the policy was enacted, with hip hop superstar Kendrick Lamar threatening to pull his own music from the platform entirely as he believed it unfairly targeted people of colour. A number of US women’s groups also called for the platform to pull content by artists like The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nelly, Eminem who have histories of violence against women.
“While we believe our intentions were good, the language was too vague, we created confusion and concern, and didn’t spend enough time getting input from our own team and key partners before sharing new guidelines,” said the company in a statement.