Russ

Mauricio Santana / Contributor via Getty Images

Russ Continues Rant Accusing Billboard, Luminate, And Major Labels Of Faking Streams

  /  08.29.2023

On Monday (Aug. 28), Russ took to Twitter to lambaste Billboard and Luminate, the entities in charge of tracking album sales and streams. He alleged that the companies swindled him out of 10,000 sales for his recently released LP, SANTIAGO. The project debuted at No. 12 on the Billboard 200 chart, but the rapper insisted he should have cracked the top 10.

Billboard [and] Luminate took away ANOTHER 4,000 of my REAL sales over the weekend, making that 10,000 sales total they took away from me while allowing major labels to fake their streams and sales, and do monopolistic merch bundles. Only major labels are allowed to do merch bundles because the only approved vendor is a major label vendor,” the Atlanta artist wrote.

He continued, “I don’t think y’all realize how nuts this is… Billboard charts are inflated by fake data, which is being verified by only one company, Luminate.”

Russ wasn’t alone in expressing his ire. His manager, Milan Ackerman, echoed the sentiments by claiming major labels are “hiding their fake streams … in plain sight.”

“The current music ‘charts’ are inflated by fake data, and that data is being verified by one company only. That same company that verifies the data is owned by the same company that owns the ‘charts.’ It’s a rigged game,” Ackerman said.

Today (Aug. 29), Russ picked up where he left off by calling out more corporate entities. He tweeted, “One company, PMC [Penske Media Corporation], owns Luminate, Billboard, Rolling Stone, Variety, Vibe, WWD, Hollywood Reporter, Dick Clark Productions, Golden Globe Awards, Academy Of Country Music Awards, American Music Awards, Latin American Music Awards, Billboard Music Awards, Streamy Awards, SXSW, and more.”

“Watching the general public try to figure out why certain streams don’t match the ticket sales is funny,” the musician added. “It’s not rocket science; use your brain.”

SANTIAGO hit streaming services on Aug. 18 under the “Best On Earth” hitmaker’s independent label, DIEMON. While prior releases saw collaborations with marquee names, this particular LP featured only a handful of guest appearances from the likes of Rexx Life Raj, Bibi Bourelly, and Justin Nozuka.

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