Minimum Gauge: After being caught in the middle of Spotify's "hateful conduct" policy controversy, late rapper XXXTentacion sets post-mortem streaming record

Following shooting death, young rapper breaks Taylor Swift's single-day streaming record; Shakira removes a necklace with a Nazi-ish symbol from tour merch; NOFX can't get any U.S. gigs after Las Vegas jokes.

Jun 25, 2018 at 2:28 pm

click to enlarge XXXTentacion
HOT: Complicated Streaming

The day after 20-year-old Hip Hop star XXXTentacion was shot and killed in Florida, his track “SAD!” broke Taylor Swift’s single-day streaming record on Spotify. The rapper’s song was reportedly streamed 10.4 million times in 24 hours. Not long before his death, XXXTentacion was one of the prime artists cited in Spotify’s attempt to not promote artists who went against its short-lived “hateful conduct” policy. Because the rapper was accused of assaulting his ex-girlfriend and had been charged with violent crimes, the streaming platform pulled his music from popular (and money making) official playlists like “Rap Caviar.” After being accused of selectively enforcing the policy that some said unfairly targeted black artists (XXXTentacion’s own reps released a list of acts that were accused of and charged with similar things but went unpunished), Spotify rescinded the new rules just weeks before the shooting that would result in a record-setting day for its platform

WARM: Inadvertent Symbolism

If you were to guess which musical act was caught using Nazi imagery in their merchandise, chances are Colombian superstar Shakira wouldn’t be in your top 100 guesses. After a German website pointed out that a necklace in her current line of tour merchandise resembled the occult “Black Sun” symbol co-opted by Nazis and neo-Nazis, the Pop singer’s tour promoter, Live Nation, issued a statement saying that the necklace was actually based on “pre-Colombian imagery,” but acknowledged the “inadvertent similarity” and pulled the product immediately.

COLD: No U.S. Gigs for NOFX

After making tasteless jokes about the victims of the Vegas Country music festival shooting that left 58 people dead last year, murkily-merry pranksters NOFX lost sponsorships and a headlining slot at its own music festival. But now the band’s Fat Mike has revealed the damage done to the group’s livelihood is much more extensive. Despite an apology, the Punk band’s frontdude said all NOFX shows in the U.S. were canceled. “We were told that NOFX is not welcome to play ANY big venue in the United States,” he wrote, then put his Vans-wrapped foot back in his mouth by suggesting the group was “effectively banned” in the U.S.