‘Billboard’ Responds To Tekashi 69’s Accusations Of Chart Manipulation

The latest Billboard Hot 100 chart was revealed yesterday (just the top ten spots, more accurately), and Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande’s “Stuck With U” claimed the top spot. Going into it, Tekashi 69 seemed to think his comeback single “Gooba” had a good chance of going No. 1, but a few days ago, he called out Billboard for what he thought was some shady accounting, which he believed was an effort to keep him from topping the Hot 100.

With all this criticism floating around, Billboard decided to offer a response to the rapper with an article on their website, titled “How Billboard Came to Its Calculations in This Week’s Race For the Hot 100 No. 1.”

The post begins by reiterating that Bieber and Grande’s song went No. 1 while “Gooba” debuted at No. 3. The post continues:

“This was met with some controversy on social media, as 6ix9ine had taken to Instagram shortly before the chart’s reveal to assert that streams of his single had been improperly discounted, and allege that the powers behind ‘Stuck With U’ had ‘bought’ their No. 1 through ill-gotten sales totals. […] In the interest of transparency, Billboard wanted to clear up the Hot 100’s chart rules and tabulation process, the calculations that go into the determinations of its final rankings, and the stats accumulated by the two singles that marked this week’s highest debuts. Here are the facts.”

From there, Billboard addresses specific criticisms levied against them by Tekashi. For example:

The Hot 100 forecast 6ix9ine referenced in his Instagram video: The chart forecast referenced was not created nor provided by Billboard to the industry. Those with access to sales, streaming and radio data from various sources often create their own chart models and update them at their own frequency. Billboard does not distribute any Hot 100 ranking forecast to labels, management or artists.”


6ix9ine’s claims that not all of his streams were properly counted: […] Each data provider provides a post-audit number to Billboard and Nielsen Music/MRC Data — excluding streams that do not meet long-standing charting parameters, such as U.S.-based-only plays, minimum play length, excessive plays and lack of user verification. This is applied to all songs from all artists.”


6ix9ine’s claims that ‘six credit cards’ were responsible for a hefty percentage of the ‘Stuck With U’ sales: Billboard and Nielsen Music/MRC Data conducts audits on all sales reported with access to purchase-level detail, and works with data partners to recognize excessive bulk purchases and remove those units from the final sales total. All titles this week, as in every week, were put under the same scrutiny.”

Read Billboard‘s full response here.