Russ Claims All Major Labels Fake Streams

Lyndon Abioye |

Russ is claiming that his album streams were intentionally undercounted and that major labels pay for their artists streams to be boosted.

“It’s a real thing,” Russ said. “Here’s the deal, when you talk to these people—’cause I’ve talked to these people, ’cause I’ve been like, ‘What is this? How are y’all doing this?’ They never disclose the mechanics of how they actually fake the streams. There’s like, you know, rumors of streaming farms or [they’re] delving out f-cking computers in third-world countries and hacking the backend to make it look like it’s an IP from the U.S. All this nutty sh-t. But the reality is the labels are spending money and you know, devil’s advocate, they’re treating it like a marketing expense. Because, in a sense, it almost is.”

According to Russ, labels have given up on the old school way of properly promoting artists and are choosing to cheat their way to success instead.

“They’re not doing it with like up-and-coming artists who you wouldn’t believe it. Let’s say your song has 500 million streams, organically. But let’s say with fake streams now you’re at 900 million. No one’s gonna sit there and be like, ‘This is more like a 500 million-stream song.’ They’re not doing it to the dude across the street and giving him a billion streams. They’re doing it to people who really can get half a billion, but let’s just pump it to get 900 million.”

Russ’ album  Santiago debuted at No. 12 on the Billboard 200, opening with 42,000 album-equivalent units in its first week. The rapper has always maintained that he was cheated.

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