Bounce, Bounce, Bounce! R Kelly Removed from Spotify’s Editorial and Algorithmic Playlists

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Posted May 10, 2018 by J Matthew Cobb in Features
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Songs like “Ignition” and new music from R&B crooner yanked from Spotify’s playlists

Looks like R Kelly won’t be stepping in the name of love with Spotify.

It was announced today that starting immediately, Kelz’ music (along with those of XXXTentacion) will be removed from the streaming services’ editorial and algorithmic playlists as part of their new rollout of updated policies focusing on hate content and hateful conduct. That means popular go-to playlists like Are & Be and Soul Lounge will be turning off the ignition on R Kelly’s repertoire.

“When an artist or creator does something that is especially harmful or hateful (for example, violence against children and sexual violence), it may affect the ways we work with or support that artist or creator,” writes Spotify in their announcement.

Contrary to a few misleading headlines, Spotify will not be removing his content from their platform. “His music will still be available on the service, but Spotify will not actively promote it,” they wrote. “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. 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.”

Kelz did respond to the matter, but let’s just say he’s feeling a little “trapped in the closet” on this one.

“We appreciate Spotify for continuing to make R. Kelly’s songs accessible to millions of people, although it will stop listing his songs on its official playlists. Spotify is adopting a new ‘Hate Content & Hateful Conduct’ policy.  R Kelly never has been accused of hate, and the lyrics he writes express love and desire.

“Mr. Kelly for 30 years has sung songs about his love and passion for women.  He is innocent of the false and hurtful accusations in the ongoing smear campaign against him, waged by enemies seeking a payoff.  He never has been convicted of a crime, nor does he have any pending criminal charges against him…Spotify has the right to promote whatever music it chooses, and in this case its actions are without merit. It is acting based on false and unproven allegations. It is bowing to social-media fads and picking sides in a fame-seeking dispute over matters that have nothing to do with serving customers.”

Kelz’ management continued to clap back, by saying “though, Spotify promotes numerous other artists who are convicted felons, others who have been arrested on charges of domestic violence and artists who sing lyrics that are violent and anti-women in nature….Mr. Kelly falls into none of these categories, and it is unfortunate and shortsighted that Spotify fails to recognize this.”

If you’ve been living under a rock or in a cave for the last couple of months (or years), you may have missed hearing about a new set of accusations regarding R Kelly’s sexual misconduct. In May, two more women, Asante McGee and Joycelyn Savage, came forward with disturbing stories regarding Kelly’s misbehavior, even allegations of him forcing them to being brainwashed.

A recently-distributed documentary that aired on BBC, R. Kelly: Sex, Girls and Videotapes, also focused on the forever rumors and accusations on Kelz’ behavior, even the controversial underage marriage to Aaliyah Houghton (which actually happened). And we just learned a few days ago that Lifetime will be investing their coin into a new documentary series and a full-length film on the sexual abuse surrounding Kelly.

Whoa. Looks like it’s the end of keeping ish on the down low.


About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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