How Republic Records helped "rockstar" hit number one on the Hot 100

Post Malone and 21 Savage's song "rockstar" hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 this week, and now some are questioning a tactic his label may have used to help him reach that milestone. Malone's label, Republic Records, uploaded the song on YouTube, but it is not the original version you can hear on Spotify or buy on iTunes. Instead it's a looped version of the song, where the chorus plays over and over again. Nothing on YouTube, not the way it's titled to anything in the description box, ever tells the user that this is not the full song. The video has over 40 million streams, and there is the only version of the song officially available on YouTube so far.

None of this is techincally against any Hot 100 rules. It does call into question the types of tactics Republic (and other record labels) are resorting to in order to inflate numbers especially now that Billboard is considering counting YouTube streams towards album sales.

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