Spotify Will Now Let You #MuteRKelly, Or Any Other Artist You Don’t Like
In pointed timing, Spotify has quietly introduced a new feature which allows users to block artists from playing in playlists — meaning, say, you could mute any artist you might have ethical or sonic issues with.
As first reported by Billboard, Spotify’s new feature is currently only available on the mobile app. If you head to an artist’s page and click on the top right window, there’s an option called ‘don’t play this artist’.
Click on it, and Spotify will skip that artist’s songs in any curated playlists, charts, radio or even your own library.
Testing it out, Music Junkee found that even if you click on the artists’ songs on their own landing page, they won’t play on your phone — they will, however, play on your computer, as the feature hasn’t been rolled out there yet, or onto the web browser.
The feature follows on from a controversial decision last May where Spotify removed R. Kelly and rapper XXXTentacion from their curated playlists, citing revised guidelines around ‘music that promoted hate speech’, which previously was used around music promoting white supremacy.
Both artists have been at the centre of multiple abuse allegations, with the late XXXTentacion also being charged in 2015 with aggravated battery of a pregnant woman.
The decision was applauded by many, but also criticised for what-about-ism. After Kendrick Lamar reportedly threatened to pull his music unless the artists both returned to playlists, Spotify reinstated them.
This new feature comes as tides turn against R. Kelly after the airing of six-part documentary Surviving R. Kelly in the US. In response, several artists have pulled their collaborations with the singer or apologised, including Lady Gaga, Phoenix, Céline Dion and Chance The Rapper. RCA, an imprint of Sony, has also dropped R. Kelly from their label.
R. Kelly’s Spotify streams also reportedly increased 16 percent after the documentary first aired.