In the heat of a close race for No. 1 with Meek Mill, Tyler, the Creator is casting doubts on TIDAL, the JAY-Z-led streaming service.
On Thursday (July 27), the Odd Future MC typed up a since-deleted tweet, in which he wondered about TIDAL’s numbers.
“DAMN TIDAL GOT ALBUMS PLAYING BEFORE A PAYWALL WHICH MAKES ME THINK NI**AS CAN HAVE BOTS SPIKING UP PLAYS FOR BILLBOARD ON FRIDAY HMM,” he wrote. “IM PETTY I WANT THAT TOP SPOT HAHAHA I WANT IT SO BAD MAN.”
The tweets follow TIDAL’s free-streaming option for Meek Mill’s album Wins & Losses, which is also available on other platforms.
Perhaps due to these tweets, Billboard issued a statement regarding free streams and how they impact the charts. “We’re getting questions around whether Billboard is suddenly counting free streams for this coming week’s Billboard 200, seemingly due to some misinformation posted online. We’d like to take a moment to clear up any confusion that misinformation may have caused,” the company wrote.
“Free streams — with ‘free’ defined as streams a listener has accessed without having a paid subscription or as part of a trial period subscription — have counted towards the Billboard 200 since it changed to a consumption model in 2014 where the ranking is determined by blending album sales, track equivalent album units and streaming equivalent album units,” they added. “Nothing in our process has changed for this week.”
Earlier this week, Billboard reported that Meek Mill’s Wins & Losses, Tyler, the Creator’s Flower Boy, and Lana Del Rey’s Lust for Life are all vying for the No. 1 spot in a tight race. The winner of that sprint is due to be revealed Sunday (July 30).