Spotify was both praised and criticized for its decision to implement a “hateful conduct” policy against artists that it singled out as purveyors of such. The company has since walked back the policy and TDE founder Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith was among the many label chiefs and music figures to threaten to pull its music from Spotify which helped reverse the decision reportedly.
One person who was particularly concerned was Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith, CEO of Top Dawg Entertainment, the label home of Kendrick Lamar, ScHoolboy Q, SZA and more. Last week, Bloomberg reported that Spotify would be restoring XXXTentacion’s music to its playlists after pressure from some within the music industry, including representatives from Lamar’s label. Now, after Spotify officially rescinded the “hateful conduct” provision of the new policy, Top Dawg tells Billboard about how those back-channel conversations led to the policy change.
“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,” Top explains to Billboard. “I don’t think it’s right for artists to be censored, especially in our culture. 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.”
Tiffifth enlisted the helped of Sean “Diddy” Combs and music executive Tommy Mottola and the trio spoke with Spotify’s CEO Daniel Ek to work on a compromise or take its music elsewhere. According to Tiffifth, he was “willing to get the whole culture to back out” of working with allowing their music to exist on Spotify.
Talk about a power move.