Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith, the CEO of Top Dawg Entertainment, explained to Billboard that he warned Spotify that artists like Kendrick Lamar and more would pull their music from their service if they continued with their now-defunct hateful conduct rule, in which the music of rappers such as Tay-K and XXXTentacion were pulled from the streaming service’s curated playlists.
“I reached out to Troy [Carter, Spotify’s global head of creator services] over there, we had a conversation and I expressed how I felt about it, about censorship, how you can’t do artists that way,” Tiffith told Billboard.
“I don’t think it’s right for artists to be censored, especially in our culture,” he continued. “How did they just pick those [artists] out? How come they didn’t pick out any others from any other genres or any other different cultures? There [are] so many other artists that have different things going on, and they could’ve picked anybody. But it seems to me that they’re constantly picking on hip-hop culture.”
Tiffith spoke with Daniel Ek, Spotify’s founder and CEO, about his concerns, which led to the streaming service getting rid of their policy. XXXTentacion is now back on their owned and operated playlists.
“My whole thing with them was, we gotta fix this situation, and if it can’t be fixed, then there’s gonna be a real problem, we’re gonna have to start pulling our music from the site” Top recalls. “I was willing to get the whole culture to back out. There were other people in the business, other powerful artists that were willing to back what I was saying, because nobody agrees with censorship like that.”
“Censorship affects not only us, but it affects generations to follow,” Top Dawg continues. “This is for the future. If they censor us now, ain’t no telling what’s going to happen in the future. It’s a slippery slope if you start censoring music. You gotta let artists be artists and speak freely. That was the main thing.”