Culture Feature

Joe Rogan's COVID Stupidity Is Deadly — and Spotify Is Complicit

Rogan's enthusiasm for spreading dangerous ignorance to his podcast audience is unnacceptable in the midst of the COVID fight.

For those who've managed to avoid his sprawling online presence over the last few years — and who are old enough to remember 2006 — it may be a surprise to learn that comedian and presenter Joe Rogan has become one of the most powerful voices in the modern media landscape.

"The Fear Factor guy? Is he still making people eat bugs for money?" No he's not. But what he's doing now is at least as stupid, and far more dangerous.

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I became a fan of Joe Budden's music in high school.

His introspective yet brooding temperament was relatable to a teenager experiencing peak angst who sought refuge in Hip-Hop. Joe's lyricism and transparency resonated with me as an adult as well. His accounts of his bouts of depression and using various vices to cope with them became the soundtrack to my life. The one quality I admired the most about the New Jersey emcee, beyond his wordplay, was his willingness to be the industry's biggest villain.

Recently, when his friends and co-hosts were conspicuously absent from the latest episode of The Joe Budden Podcast, rumors of scandal and discord started to spread. In reality, Joe's co-workers and friends having grievances with his behavior continues a longstanding pattern.

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Music Lists

Check Out Our New Weekly Spotify Playlist, Popdust Picks

Hear all our favorite new music in one place.

Bert Hardy

Not to toot our own horns, but our Spotify playlists are really, really good.

So, good news: We have a new one for you. Popdust Picks is where our staff will compile all of our favorite new songs each week. This playlist will be updated every Monday so you can easily stay in the know about all the best music you need to hear now, in addition to our weekly Indie Roundup column.

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The Weeknd

Every year, Spotify listeners win out over devotees to other streaming platforms when they unveil their Spotify Wrapped playlists — a data driven analysis of what the year sounded like.

And while this year's personal Spotify Wrapped summaries are still loading, Spotify just released their data for their most streamed global music and podcasts of the year.

Announced the week following the Grammy nominations, Spotify Wrapped feels like vindication for artists who were snubbed by the awards committee, like The Weeknd and Halsey.

The summary also analyzed trends of when and how people were listening to content, noting increased popularity in nostalgia-themed playlists and work-from-home-themed playlists. Spotify users were understandably playing music from home more, which even caused an uptick in streaming music from gaming consoles. Listeners also tuned obsessively into wellness podcasts like never before.

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Music Features

How Spotify's "Lorem" Playlist Became Gen Z Canon

Lorem blends bedroom pop, mainstream pop, and up-and-coming indie in one of Spotify's most popular "genreless" playlist.

Conan Gray - 22 year old American singer-songwriter, featured on the cover of Spotify's "Lorem" playlist

Curated Spotify playlists can make a larger impact on the music industry than you might think.

Those looking to get a jump on the next radio hits tune in to Spotify's Pop Rising playlist, which has over two million followers. Hip-Hop heads often favor the frequently-updated Rap Caviar playlist, which has accrued a whopping 13 million followers and counting. The cleverly-titled Are & Be, the straightforward Rock Classics, and the workout-themed Beast Mode each have millions of followers of their own.

But there's one playlist that, despite not really fitting into a clear genre category of its own, is becoming one of Spotify's fastest growing curated playlists: Lorem.

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Artists Are Demanding Spotify Pays Them Fairly

The Justice At Spotify Campaign aims to achieve fair compensation for Spotify's artists.

Especially since the touring industry has been rendered virtually profitless for the majority of 2020, the negative impacts of the music streaming world have become more and more prevalent.

Streaming giants like Spotify are facing increased backlash about their insufficient payment of artists as health-related restrictions make it even more difficult for those artists to generate livable income. This week, the Union of Musicians—a labor union of artists and employees in the music industry—launched an initiative called Justice At Spotify, aimed at bringing attention to the platform's history of poor payment.

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