Spotify made a bold statement when the company removed R. Kelly and XXXTentacion’s music from it’s streaming platform on Thursday (May 10), amid various reports of sexual misconduct and abuse. The gesture appeared to stand in solitary with the movement to rid the music industry of predators. While many saluted the company’s stance, 50 Cent stepped in to defend Kelly and X on social media.
“Spotify is wrong for what there doing to artists like R. Kelly and XXXTentacion,” Fif wrote on Twitter. “There not even convicted of anything.”
Kelly reposted 50’s tweet on his Instagram account. “Thanks for the support fam! No weapon formed,” the singer wrote in the caption, using the hashtag, #BornForThis.
While 50’s comment may be considered an unpopular opinion at the moment, he is not entirely wrong. Neither Kelly, nor XXX have been convicted of any crime, although both have been accused of committing a series of heinous acts. Kelly has most recently been accused of leading a sex cult, as well as physically abusing a number of women out of his homes in Atlanta and Chicago. He was previously indicted on 21 counts of child pornography, but was acquitted of all charges in 2008.
XXXTentacion, whose real name is Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy, has reportedly been accused of abusing his girlfriend, who was pregnant with his child. In late 2017, a series of court documents illustrated the alleged abuse his girlfriend had experienced at X’s hand, including being pushed down a flight of stairs.
Of removing both artists’ music from the streaming service, Spotify’s VP/Head of Content and Marketplace Policy, Jonathan Prince told Billboard: “When we look at promotion, we look at issues around hateful conduct, where you have an artist or another creator who has done something off-platform that is so particularly out of line with our values, egregious, in a way that it becomes something that we don’t want to associate ourselves with. So we’ve decided that in some circumstances, we may choose to not work with that artist or their content in the same way — to not program it, to not playlist it, to not do artist marketing campaigns with that artist.”