is an all-hands-on-deck moment for Black America and the streaming
entertainment industry. It is time for all Black artists to join
India.Arie and send a message to Spotify and drop it like it’s
hot. The reason for this is Joe Rogan.
who entered into an exclusive $100 million deal with Spotify to
stream his podcast, The
Joe Rogan Experience,
first came under fire for his anti-vaxxer messaging and COVID
misinformation on his show. As a result, artists such as Neil
Joni Mitchell and others
have pulled their music from Spotify and boycotted the music
streaming service. But India.Arie
went a step further and dropped her music from Spotify not only
because of Rogan’s anti-vax talk but because of his
enthusiastic use of the N-word.
not only used the N-word countless times but referred to a movie
theater filled with Black people as Planet
of the Apes
comment which Trevor Noah condemned
- and said Black people have “a
And he hosted a guest who claimed Black people have a gene giving
proclivity to violence”
that white and Asian people do not have.
empathize with the people who are leaving for the COVID
disinformation reasons, and I think that they should also think that
Joe Rogan has the right to say what he wants to say. I also think
that I have the right to say what I want to say,” India.Arie
said on social media.
“So as an artist who builds…Spotify is built on the back
of the music streaming, so they take this money that’s built
from streaming, and they pay this guy 100 million dollars, but they
pay us 0.003 percent of a penny. Just take me off. I don’t want
to generate money that pays this. Just take me off. That’s
where I’m at,” she added.
apologized for using the racial slur, as Spotify recently removed 70
of his podcast
The Joe Rogan Experience
for racially offensive content and COVID misinformation (more than
100 episodes of the show have been deleted in total). And while
Spotify CEO Daniel
said he was “deeply sorry” about the harm created by the
situation with Rogan, he said dropping the podcast entirely would be
a “slippery slope.” Ek also vowed to dedicate an
investment of $100 million for the licensing, development, and
marketing of music (artists and songwriters) and audio content from
historically marginalized groups.”
Spotify hit 180
found that 19 percent of Spotify users have unsubscribed or plan to
cancel their account because of Rogan, with another 18.5 percent
considering canceling if more music is dropped from the service.
executives certainly have their reasons for sticking with Rogan. Some
would argue Spotify can make $100 million deals with any white
supremacist hipster dude-bro they please. Rogan has a large
following, and obviously, Spotify is getting that bag in the way that
Fox News is getting the bag by featuring Nazi and anti-vax cosplayers
who come to work fully vaccinated because their
boss mandated it.
understand Spotify is not making $100 million deals with you, Black
artists and podcasters. India.Arie already told you this. They are
making deals with Rogan because
of you and not merely instead
of you. Know your value and do not subsidize your own oppression.
artist relations from Spotify called me yesterday, and they asked me
what I want, and I’ve been thinking about this all night. I’m
not going to say it all here, but what I want to say to you, it’s
something that I already knew, but I want you to know that they said
it last night,” India.Arie said. “Most of the streams on
Spotify are Black music. But we know that. If you’re paying
attention at all, you understand the role of Black music in this
world. So that’s a deeper nuance.”
will join India.Arie, and why haven’t other Black artists
already done so? Some of the most
include Rihanna, Lil Nas X, Doja Cat, Drake, The Weeknd and others.
that Black people were among the hardest hit by COVID and have built
a music industry that historically shortchanged us - whether vinyl
records back in the day or digital streaming today - now is the time
for Black artists to stand up and represent.
just to show we can chew gum and walk at the same time, NFL players,
commentary was originally published by The