Why Spotify and Apple Music haven’t pulled Kanye West’s songs from their playlists
What makes the West-made track “Black Skinhead” so offensive: its lyrics, according to the rap veteran and its accompanying video, which shows two men burning an effigy of Trump with a lighter. And how it became the latest topic around which Spotify and Apple Music have been embroiled
When, on the night of November 5, Kanye West tweeted that he wanted to ‘kill Donald Trump’, there was a lot of reaction. The US President was seen as a real-life, existential threat to the American Dream. And there are many, many people, including musicians, who believe the hip-hop star is expressing their views on not only a political issue, but a cultural one too.
Apple’s controversial decision to put ‘Black Skinhead’, West and his fellow ‘free speech’ artist the rapper Azealia Banks on the streaming service’s Beats 1 radio station has divided opinion. But in the music biz, there is perhaps no debate as heated as this one. A battle between two of the music industry’s most powerful companies, with a battle that threatens to get out of hand.
For music fans (or their parents), there have been a few things to take away in all the fuss about how Spotify and Apple have handled the West track. Here are four:
1) The battle between two of the music industry’s biggest companies is becoming more and more personal
Both Spotify and Apple have been in the news of late for how they’ve handled the West track. After all, they’ve both come under fire for allowing some of West’s most offensive and controversial songs, like his ‘Foken’ music video (see below), on their playlists. And while the streaming companies may have argued that the West track, and the accompanying video, were already available via the internet, many of their fans were quick to tell them they’re full of it.
Of course, the music industry has always fought against free speech and is probably happy for such fights to be fought in the courts. But it’s not really a case of fighting against