The growing corporate boycott against Kanye West (Ye) after I made anti-Semitic comments in several interviews has increased pressure on music streaming services to remove the rapper’s albums from their platforms, including Spotify.
Spotify CEO Daniel Ek, addressed the topic in an interview with the Reuters agency, making it clear that West’s comments were “horrible”, but his music did not violate the policies against the hate of the platform . It added that it was up to Ye’s seal, Universal Music Group’s Def Jam seal, to remove their music from him if they felt obligated to do so.
“It’s really just his music, and his music on the viola our policy”, he told Reuters, and added: “It depends on his seal, if they want to take measures or not”. I say that Ye’s anti-Semitic comments would have been removed from Spotify if he had them in a podcast or recording, according to his policy of inciting his hatred, but he didn’t have any such comments.
Def Jam holds the rights of author of his recordings of West since 2002 until 2016. The rapper’s contract with his long-time record company expired with his album DONDA in 2021.
“The relationship of Def Jam with Ye as a recording artist, the association of Def Jam with the company of the GOOD Music label and the marketing agreement of Ye with Bravado ended in 2021,” said Def Jam in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “There is no place for antisemitism in our society. We are deeply committed to the fight against anti-Semitism and any other form of harm”.
After West made repeated anti-Semitic comments in interviews and tweets, leading Hollywood actors began to publicly call for a boycott of rape. The head of WME, Ari Emanuel, spoke directly to Ye’s corporate partners, in particular Spotify and Apple Music, who wanted to collaborate with him.
Since Emanuel’s plea, the talent agency CAA has turned to Ye as a client, MRC Entertainment has archived a complete documentary on the rapper and Balenciaga, GAP and Vogue cut out all the releases with them.
Kanye West lost his biggest corporate backing, the sportswear giant Adidas, who started his highly profitable association with the Yeezy brand.