Apple Music has become the first streaming platform to take action against Kanye by pulling its curated “Kanye West Essentials” playlist.
After companies like Adidas and Balenciaga dropped the rapper for his antisemitic rhetoric, Apple has removed its curated “Kanye West Essentials” and “Kanye West Video Essentials” playlists from Apple Music. Kanye’s full discography remains available on the streaming service. Still, this move makes Apple Music the first streaming platform to take action against the rapper following his many hateful comments.
While acknowledging that West has made “awful comments,” Spotify CEO Daniel Ek says it remains up to Kanye’s label to decide if they “want to take action or not.” However, the truth of things remains complicated, as Kanye is no longer technically signed to a label.
Most of his career has been spent under Def Jam Records, but he completed his contract last year with the release of Donda. But Def Jam is still responsible for maintaining his catalog — which features ten studio albums and several collaborative releases — and shows no intention of pulling West’s catalog from streaming platforms.
Apple has not commented publicly on its action surrounding Kanye’s music on Apple Music. Still, the two worked closely together in the past, with a live stream chronicling the completion of his Donda album in 2021. Kanye was temporarily locked out of his Twitter and Instagram accounts following his recent remarks but was allowed back on Instagram last week. He was allowed back on Twitter following Elon Musk’s acquisition of the platform.
Following Adidas dropping their partnership with Ye, the rapper showed up “uninvited and unannounced” at a Skechers corporate office in LA. Executives at Skechers had him escorted off the premises, stating the company “has no intention of working with West.”
Losing his Adidas deal — estimated to be worth around $4.3 billion — cuts into Ye’s considerable wealth, according to Forbes, which is estimated to be about $400 million without it.