Last week, Chance the Rapper’s Acid Rap hit number 63 on Billboard’s Hip-Hop/R&B albums chart. Now, Acid Rap is very, very good, and Chance deserves every bit of the success and recognition he’s seen since its release. But something about this particular honor is fishy: Acid Rap is a free download; it shouldn’t be charting at all.
Someone appears to be bootlegging Chance’s work and raking in money, without diverting any of the proceeds to the rapper himself. Billboard reports digital downloads of the record were being sold on iTunes and Amazon, and physical copies have popped up on Amazon as well.
“I’ve never heard of Mtc, so this has taken us by surprise,” Chance’s manager told Billboard, referring to the company to which the Amazon sales are credited. “But when I first saw it I showed Chance, and his lawyers are trying to stop it.”
It just goes to show, when a totally unsanctioned bootleg charts alongside major label offerings, just how fractured the music industry has become.