Kanye West Essentials Playlist Disappears From Apple Music Following Anti-Semitic Rhetoric

Apple Music appears to have joined the widening list of businesses distancing themselves from Kanye West in light of his repeated anti-Semitic remarks.

The streaming music giant has apparently pulled Kanye West Essentials Playlist, after the rap veteran, who now goes by the name Ye, made offensive comments online and, again, in interviews.

Billboard has reached out to Apple for comment, though the tech giant’s reps hadn’t responded at the time of writing.

Earlier this week, Daniel Ek, CEO at Spotify, Apple Music’s rival, addressed the hip-hop star and his “awful” comments for an interview with Reuters.

Ek, however, noted that his music did not violate the Spotify’s anti-hate policies and that the ball was in the court of Ye’s label, Universal Music Group’s Def Jam, to pull his catalog if they chose to.

“It’s really just his music, and his music doesn’t violate our policy,” Ek told Reuters, noting, “It’s up to his label, if they want to take action or not.”

Ek went on to explain that Ye’s anti-Semitic comments would have been yanked from Spotify if they had made in a podcast or recording, per their hate speech policy, but that wasn’t the case.

A spokesperson for UMG has since clarified that “Def Jam’s relationship with Ye as a recording artist, Def Jam’s partnership with the GOOD Music label venture and Ye’s merchandise agreement with Bravado all ended in 2021.”

The Ye exodus is now in full flight.

WME chief Ari Emanuel directly called on West’s corporate partners, particularly Spotify and Apple Music, to stop collaborating with him.

Since then, talent agency CAA dropped him as a client, MRC Entertainment shelved a completed documentary on the hip-hop icon and Balenciaga, GAP and Vogue cut all ties with him.

Earlier in the week, Ye lost his biggest corporate backer, the sportswear giant Adidas, with which he had a multi-year partnership for its line of Yeezy products, valued at $1.5 billion.

“Adidas does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech,” the company said in a statement Tuesday. “Ye’s recent comments and actions have been unacceptable, hateful and dangerous, and they violate the company’s values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness.” 

Other brands and companies that have ended their relationships with West in the aftermath include Foot LockerTJ Maxx and his  Donda Academy team was removed from the Scholastic Play-By-Play Classics season schedule.

Find a full list of the consequences West has faced here.

Lars Brandle