Young fans of music stars, including Olivia Rodrigo and Eminem, using Spotify’s platform have reportedly been exposed to explicit lyrics despite blocking explicit content. The issue arises from Spotify displaying a song’s original lyrics on screen, including racial slurs and profanity when playing the clean ‘radio-friendly’ version.
Popular songs by artists like Dua Lipa, The Weeknd, Drake, and Lil Nas X are affected. Although Spotify has a system to handle explicit content, lyrics in the database for edited versions can be the same as the originals, causing users to see explicit words when viewing lyrics.
Presently, over a third of songs in Spotify’s UK top 50 chart contain explicit lyrics, with half of them displaying explicit content even in the clean edit. The issue impacts 100 high-profile tracks, including those featured in children’s film soundtracks or child-friendly playlists.
Spotify is reportedly working to address the problem, but the company has not provided an official comment. Explicit songs on Spotify are marked with an ‘E,’ and users can block explicit content in their settings. The BBC, which discovered the issue, alerted Spotify, leading to the removal of lyrics for some songs.
On desktops or laptops, users can still read the lyrics of explicit versions even when the tracks are blocked, simply by clicking on the track names from a search or artist profile page. Spotify, with over 500 million users, remains the world’s most popular music streaming service.