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XXXTentacion's 'SAD!' His Music Has Been Removed From Spotify

As part of Spotify's new hate content and hateful conduct policy, controversial rapper XXXTentacion's music was removed from the streaming service.

As part of Spotify's new hate content and hateful conduct policy, which officially went into effect today (May 10), the company announced that they would no longer be promoting R. Kelly's songs on its editorial or algorithmic playlists on its service, though his music will still be available to stream on the platform. But he's not the only one who will be affected by the new policy.

As of Wednesday (May 9), XXXTentacion's "SAD!" held a prime spot on Spotify's flagship RapCaviar playlist -- which has 9.5 million followers -- at No. 8. Today, "SAD!" is no longer on RapCaviar, Billboard found. A source close to Spotify confirmed that the song had been removed under the new guidelines.

In a statement earlier today announcing the new policy and addressing the decision to remove R. Kelly's music from the service's playlists, Spotify stressed that his music will remain on the platform, but that it will no longer actively promote it. "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," the company said. "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."

The new policy outlines two categories the service is focusing on -- hate content and hateful conduct -- in addressing the issue. In Kelly's case, the service decided it would not promote his music as part of its marketing or playlisting initiatives, but would continue to host his music as it does not violate its hate content provision, which would generally lead to the service taking down an artist or creator's catalog if it met the company's criteria. As XXXTentacion's music still remains on Spotify, it would appear that his situation falls under the same provision.

XXXTentacion, the 20-year-old MC from Florida who burst onto the music scene in the past year with singles like "Look At Me!" and albums 17 and ? -- which debuted at Nos. 2 and 1 on the Billboard 200, respectively, upon release -- has been embroiled in a series of controversies stemming from allegations of battery, false imprisonment and witness tampering. He has repeatedly denied the allegations, and is currently awaiting trial on the charges.

Spotify confirmed to Billboard that it had removed Kelly's music from its playlists, but declined to elaborate on editorial decisions beyond that; it's unclear at the current time if other artists have been affected. A rep for R. Kelly did not return a request for comment.

Update (1:51 pm): Following the publication of this article, a rep for XXXTentacion reached out to Billboard, saying, "I don’t have a comment, just a question. Will Spotify remove all [these] artists from playlists?" The list provided included the likes of Gene Simmons from KISS, David Bowie, James Brown, Seal, Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, Nick Carter of Backstreet Boys, Real Estate, Michael Jackson, Miles Davis, 6ix9ine, Nelly, Miguel, Fabolous and Dr. Dre, among others, with various allegations of sexual or domestic assault attached to each name.

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Trump Administration Vetted Rappers For Failed Covid-19 Ad Campaign

The Trump Administration put together a $265 million effort to round up the biggest rappers, singers, and actors in the entertainment industry to appear in a failed ad campaign about Covid-19. Lil Wayne, Roddy Ricch, Cardi B, Lil Uzi Vert, Ludacris, Ice-T, and Nicki Minaj were among at least 247 celebrities vetted by the Administration, according to documents obtained by the House Oversight Committee and published by Politico on Thursday (Oct. 29).

The Department of Health and Human Services paid a contractor $256 million to complete the tax-payer funded public service campaign by Election Day. TheAdministration “vetted spokespeople based on their political positions and whether they support President Trump,” House Democrats argued.

Fors Marsh, a strategic communications firm, won a $250 million contract with HHS a week before, Atlas Research secured a $15 million contract. The campaign was the brain child of Michael R. Caputo, the department's assistant secretary for public affairs.

The 34-page spreadsheet dubbed the, “PSA Celebrity Tracker,” includes notes on each celebrity’s political affiliation, possible comments about Trump and coronavirus, criminal history (if applicable), demographic, and whether or not they expressed interest in appearing in the PSA. The entry listed Wayne as a “maybe; follow-up” option who previously supported President Barack Obama, “doesn’t like Republicans, ” and is popular among “Black Americans,” “super spreaders,” and the “general population.” It’s unclear what transpired between Wayne and the Trump Administration in regard to the PSA. He did of course meet with Trump this week and endorsed his re-election campaign.

Jay-Z was listed under “maybe; follow-up” as well. The notes state that Hov spoke with his manager and might, “Reconsider depending on who signs.” The entry lists Jay's criminal history, and support of President Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Eminem, Lil Baby, Beyonce, Travis Scott, Snoop Dogg, Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Christina Aguilera, Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, Tiffany Haddish, Kerry Washington, Issa Rae, Donald Glover, Chance the Rapper, and John Legend were also on the list.

Luda, Viola Davis, Dwayne Johnson, George Lopez, Zoe Saldana, Trevor Noah, Betty White and Britney Spears were some of the celebrities who turned down the offer, and it appears that most of the people on the list simply didn’t respond.

Singer Marc Anthony accepted but did not want his coronavirus quotes used for Trump’s election campaign, CNBC reports. Gospel legend CeCe Winans recorded a PSA but pulled out after receiving backlash once the clip hit the internet late last month.

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2020 BET Hip Hop Awards: Watch Performances From City Girls, Big Sean, 2 Chainz And More

City Girls, Big Sean, Jhené Aiko, Brandy, 2 Chainz, and more made the 2020 BET Hip-Hop Awards a night to remember. Hosted by DC Young Fly, Karlous Miller and Chico Bean of 85 South, the socially-distanced event went down on Tuesday (Oct. 27).

Doubling as a sounding board for socially conscious commentary and voting engagement, the show featured several references to Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and other victims of police brutality. The night included a statement from vice presidential hopeful and Howard University alum, Kamala Harris, in celebration of HBCU’s.

Although there were more performances than awards given out during the ceremony, the show was full of surprises. Master P received the I Am Hip Hop Award presented to him by former No Limit artist, Snoop Dogg. Rapsody won her first award ever for Best Hip-Hop Lyricist, Pop Smoke was posthumously awarded the Best New Artist trophy, and Lil Baby accepted the Impact Track honor for, “The Bigger Picture.”

YBN Cordae paid homage to Juice Wrld, and Quavo performed a tribute medley to Pop Smoke. The award show also honored other late rappers, including Fred Da Godson.

Watch some of the performances and cyphers below.

City Girls Perform “Kitty Talk” & “Jobs” Big Sean, Jhené AIko and Ty Dolla Sign Perform “Body Language” Brandy, Erykah Badu, Teyana Taylor & H.E.R. Perform Ladies First Cypher Beenie Man, Bounty Killa, Skip Marley & More Participate In Reggae Cypher Tobe Nwigwe Performs “Try Jesus, Don’t Try Me” 2 Chainz & Lil Wayne Perform “Money Maker”
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Ty Dolla $ign Releases New Album Feat. Nicki Minaj, Roddy Ricch, Kanye West And More

After a three-year album hiatus, Ty Dolla $ign released his latest studio effort, Featuring Ty Dolla $ign, on Friday (Oct. 23).

The 25-track album features appearances from Nicki Minaj, Kid Cudi, FKA Twigs, Roddy Ricch, Jhené Aiko, Kehlani, 6lack, Young Thug, Music Soulchild, Skrillex, Quavo, Anderson Paak, Post Malone, Kanye West, and more.

Powered by previously released singles, “Ego Death,” Expensive” and By Yourself,” the new album flexes a different music muscle for the Grammy-nominated recording artists who steered clear of  making club records.

“I was intentionally trying to not make club songs [talking about] hoes and *itches and all the sh*t I used to talk about,” Ty told Vulture in a recent interview. “I was trying to, like, talk about my life, and what it is now, and really do something different with it. I got a daughter going to high school this year, and she’s paying attention, and all her friends are paying attention, so I can’t talk as crazy or do the crazy sh*t that I used to do.”

Stream Featuring Ty Dolla Sign below.

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