The American label Atlantic Records was accused of buying views and comments for their artists. The record company denies ever buying “bots” for their acts. The allegations were triggered by a music video by Don Toliver, but rap stars like Lil Uzi Vert and Roddy Ricch are also suspected.

    Don Toliver’s video too “Do It Right” appeared suspect to many critics because it had a striking number of views and comments after a short time. The music video was uploaded on November 22, 2022 and currently (as of November 30) has almost eight million views and around 25,000 comments on YouTube. The song has only been streamed 4.2 million times on Spotify to date. For comparison: Don Toliver’s “What You Need” was uploaded on May 4th, 2021, has over 18 million clicks, but just under 10,000 comments. Additionally, some of the comments under “Do It Right” read quite generically. “It’s remarkable,” “Wow Brilliant,” and “Best video of the day” can be found in the comments section, but there are also quite pointless phrases like “Such notification many playfulness so fantastic.” Other comments are just a bunch of emojis.

    TMZ shared a statement from Atlantic Records on November 26: “Atlantic Records has never used bots for its artists.” reports, we are both deeply dismayed and concerned. To put it bluntly: neither don [Toliver] nor was anyone on his team involved in any way.”

    The other artists include Lil Uzi Vert and Roddie Ricch. The music video “Just Wanna Rock” by Lil Uzi Vert was uploaded on November 18th and currently has over 15 million views and 34,000 comments. The song “Over Your Head”, which was released on November 17, 2020 and is part of Lil Uzi Vert and Future’s collaborative album, has 13 million views and 14,000 comments. Lil Uzi Vert is the only one of the three artists whose song has more streams on Spotify than views on YouTube. “Just Wanna Rock” is currently at 69 million streams on Spotify. The song “twin” by Roddy Ricch was released on November 21st and has 2.3 million streams despite already having 6 million views on YouTube and over 10,000 comments. For comparison: “real talk” by Roddy Ricch was released on June 27, 2022, has over five million views and just under 4000 comments.

    reactions

    American hip hop influencer DJ Akademiks wrote on Twitter: “Damn…Atlantic Records went from a massive hit to a turd a few years ago…they literally threw in the towel when it came to marketing and promoting their artists… they just buy insane amounts of fake views… which makes their artists look even worse.” In one another tweet he commented that all the smart marketing and A&R people had already left the label and artists were going away too. In addition, he alleges that the record company’s primary goal is to make a good impression on investors and not to take care of the artists.

    No novelty

    For several years now, there have been more and more artists who have been accused of having fake view numbers on their videos. In May 2022, Haftbefehl threw up the question of why some German rappers would suddenly only get three million views within a year instead of 100 million and more. Shortly thereafter, the two rappers Fler and Massiv admitted that they had bought clicks before during their careers.

    In May 2019 a Report from the “Y-Collective” uploaded to YouTube, which deals with exactly this topic. There, a hacker explained how you can buy clicks, how he would falsify streaming numbers and named the prices that an artist would have to pay to get a guaranteed gold record for the music.



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