Last week, Spotify announced a controversial decision to cut R. Kelly from its playlists and other editorial promotions amid allegations that the R&B star ran a violent “sex cult.” The streaming service justified its decision as part of its new “Hate Content & Hateful Conduct” policy, which says that it will not include content that promotes hatred or violence toward a particular group of people based on race, religion, gender or sexual orientation, among other things, nor will it actively promote artists whose personal lives are at odds with Spotify’s values.
But a quick search suggests that Spotify isn’t applying that policy evenly to artists whose lyrics and/or personal actions could also be called hateful — or, at the very least, offensive.
More than a few artists who’ve been publicly called out for their egregious behavior are still being promoted on the service, and some of their most controversial content remains on playlists.
Of course, what exactly qualifies as hateful may depend on your own personal set of values — but therein lies the great big can of worms that Spotify has opened.
Here are some questionable artists and lyrics we found on Spotify playlists — you be the judge.
Eminem, “Rap God”
“I’ll still be able to break a motherf – – kin’ table/Over the back of a couple of f – – – – ts and crack it in half . . . Little gay-lookin’ boy/So-gay-I-can-barely-say-it-with-a-straight-face-lookin’ boy.”
Eminem, “Just Don’t Give a F – – k”
“Went to gym in eighth grade, raped the women’s swim team/Don’t take me for a joke, I’m no comedian.”
Migos, “Bad and Boujee”
“Beat the hoe walls loose . . . Introduce me to your bitch as wifey and we know she sluttin’ . . . Big d – – e hoe, get the door, Macy Gray.”
N.W.A., “A Bitch Iz a Bitch”
“Are you the kind that think you’re too damn fly?/Bitch eat s–t and die . . . I once knew a bitch who got slapped/’Cause she played me like she was all that.”
Kid Rock, “Devil Without a Cause”
“That’s when I pull the strap out/And I get to buck buck bucking/I’m f – - k f – - k f – – king your hoes.”
Dire Straits, “Money for Nothing”
“See the little f – – – – t with the earring and the makeup/Yeah buddy, that’s his own hair/That little f – – – – t got his own jet airplane/That little f – – – – t, he’s a millionaire.”
The Rolling Stones, “Brown Sugar”
“Gold Cost slave ship bound for cotton fields/Sold in the market down in New Orleans/Scarred old slaver knows he’s doing all right/Hear him whip the women just around midnight/Brown sugar, how come you taste so good?/Brown sugar, just like a young girl should.”
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