Ye music has been removed from NZME radio stations, but Mediaworks says there has been no ‘negative feedback’ on the status quo

A number of New Zealand radio stations have removed all music by the artist formerly known as Kanye West from rotation, amid recent controversy surrounding the rapper.

But a national network says it has not received any negative comments about continuing to air a “limited number” of songs by Ye.

Hip-hop music artist Kanye West performing at Auckland's Vector Arena in 2008.

David Rowland

Hip-hop music artist Kanye West performing at Auckland’s Vector Arena in 2008.

A spokesperson for Mediaworks, which owns stations such as Edge and Mai FM, said Things, “we have a very limited number of songs playing on a few of our radio brands.”

“We are actively staying on top of the public’s feelings and have not received any negative feedback.”

However, NZME, which owns stations such as Flava, The Hits and ZM, has removed all of the controversial artist’s tracks from rotation.

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Mike McClung, chief content officer of NZME, said Things, “We have removed all Kanye West songs from our playlists on all NZME stations.”

No further comments were provided.

Globally, Apple Music joined a growing list of those cutting ties with the artist on Friday, as Deadline reported that the rapper’s Essentials playlist was no longer available on the platform.

However, Apple rival Spotify said this week it would keep the rapper’s music on the service, despite public condemnation of his comments.

A number of people and businesses cut ties with Ye this week, following backlash over recent anti-Semitic comments.

Raymond Hall/GC Images/Getty

A number of people and businesses cut ties with Ye this week, following backlash over recent anti-Semitic comments.

The recent backlash against artist Gold Digger came over anti-Semitic posts, which resulted in his Instagram and Twitter accounts being restricted. Earlier this month, Ye was criticized for wearing a “White Lives Matter” t-shirt while showing off his latest collection at Paris Fashion Week.

On Wednesday, Adidas announced it was severing ties with Ye and ceasing production of the rapper’s Yeezy line, which made up around $2.6 billion of his net worth.

He was also dropped by his talent agency CAA. His ex-wife Kim Kardashian spoke out publicly against anti-Semitism in a tweet and MRC Entertainment released an already completed documentary. London’s famous wax museum, Madame Tussauds, has also removed its wax statue of the rapper from public view.

New Zealand radio’s response to Ye is not the first time local stations have taken a stand against the controversy surrounding the artists.

In 2019, Michael Jackson’s music was removed from New Zealand radio stations after Leaving Neverland, a bombshell documentary by filmmaker Dan Reed, which focused on claims by two men who were close to Jackson as children that the singer molested them for years.

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