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Unreleased Playboi Carti track tops Spotify’s US viral chart

By | Published on Wednesday 22 May 2019

Playboi Carti

Playboi Carti’s track ‘Kid Cudi’ has gone to number one on Spotify’s US Viral 50 chart. So that’s nice, isn’t it? Although the rapper might be wondering how, given that it’s not out yet. Not least because ‘Kid Cudi’ isn’t really a track in its own right. It’s actually Carti’s verse on an unreleased Young Nudy and Pi’erre Bourne record titled ‘Pissy Pamper’.

Despite all that, a pitch-altered version of the Carti track managed to find its way onto Spotify, albeit titled ‘Kid Carti’ and being credited to Lil Kambo. It gained more than two million streams before being taken down.

The track that’s not really a track has become popular ever since Carti previewed it in an Instagram post in March. That post resulted in various unofficial rips being uploaded to YouTube and other versions then began to circulate online. It has also been transformed into numerous memes, and got a further boost when Carti performed the verse at the Rolling Loud festival earlier this month, which is seemingly the catalyst for driving the unofficial version of it up Spotify’s viral chart.

Speaking to Genius, the person behind that Lil Kambo account – which still carries two leaked Lil Uzi Vert songs, despite ‘Kid Carti’ being deleted – revealed themselves to be a teenager in high school.

“I first made my Spotify account to post songs that aren’t already on Spotify”, they explained. “Before the song came out there was a snippet on YouTube and it sounded like it would be a hit if it was released. A couple weeks later the song got leaked and I posted it to my channel not thinking about how big it would get. I posted it on the Playboi Carti Reddit to help the fans find the song”.

The uploader said that they had not yet earned any royalties from the upload, but that “it is very exciting to see something I did for fun get so popular”. So that’s all nice. Except that it’s obviously completely illegal and any royalties paid out would have been gained illegitimately. Just doing it for fun apparently not being an adequate legal defence.

It’s not the first time tracks have unofficially appeared on Spotify, of course. There has been a spate of them recently in fact – including full albums of music by Ariana Grande, Beyonce and SZA under pseudonyms – all of which were quickly removed.

Plus that new lawsuit filed against four tech firms by the estate of Harold Arlen also questions whether digital distributors are doing enough to stop people pushing other people’s recordings into the streaming services.

Though beyond the legalities, the success of ‘Kid Cudi’ also shows that there is plenty of demand for ‘Pissy Pamper’ that is not being satisfied at the moment – possibly due to another kind of copyright legality delaying its release, ie sample clearance issues.