Just last month, French artist Freeze Corleone was dropped by Universal Music Group (UMG) because of his heavily antisemitic lyrics. UMG severed ties with the rapper after his latest release, LMF. “The release of the album has revealed and amplified unacceptable racist statements,” Universal stated.
Aside from being roundly condemned by Jewish advocacy groups, Freeze Corleone is also under investigation by French authorities for lyrics like these: “I arrive determined like Adolf in the 30s”; and “Build an empire like young Adolf, determined with great ambitions like young Adolf.”
Freeze Corleone is also a Holocaust denier. Yet Spotify has refused to remove the rapper, despite obvious issues pertaining to racial hatred and conspiracy theories. Even more concerning, the platform is actively promoting the rapper by placing his songs within multiple highly-trafficked playlists, some of which require direct editorial review by a Spotify employee. Collectively, these playlists have millions of listeners, and several of Freeze Corleone’s tracks have millions of plays.
Since first raising this issue, Digital Music News has been unable to get any response from Spotify. Others have also been getting ignored, including the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Despite an open letter imploring Spotify CEO Daniel Ek to address this issue, the group has told DMN that they’ve yet to receive any response.
“After seeing your article, I decided to contact Spotify for myself and see how they respond,” an anonymous reader reported. “My original message to them was, ‘can you please remove the antisemitic lyrics from rapper Freeze Corleone?”
The following is a transcript of the conversation –
Spotify (John S.): I understand that you have some concerns with a song’s contents. I’ll look into that for you.
Subscriber: Will you please. It wouldn’t make a dent in the scale of Spotify, but it’s devastatingly hateful and sadly influential to many.
Spotify: I understand where you’re coming from. May I ask if you’re referring to a specific song or a playlist?
Subscriber: Well it’s not any particular song. It’s well spread though all the content. If you listen to some [I’m] sure you find something.
Spotify: Got it!
Subscriber: There are articles online that speak of it. “Freeze Corleone antisemitic lyrics”. You know.
Spotify: We make music available as the artist intends it to be heard, and that sometimes includes explicit content. Based on the information they provide, we tag explicit releases with EXPLICIT or E.