Zoey Dollaz expresses his frustration with the inevitable posthumous streaming boost, noting that it’s often the labels that reap the benefits.
After an artist passes away, it’s inevitable that their music sees a massive increase in streams. Following the tragic death of DMX on April 9th, it was reported that his streaming numbers saw a 928 percent boost. Unsurprising, as DMX was — for a time — among the biggest rap superstars in the world. And while the numbers have yet to come in, it’s likely that Black Rob will see a similar increase following his death on April 17th.
While many likely turn to revisiting music as a means of coping with the loss of a beloved artist, for Zoey Dollaz, the posthumous streaming phenomenon comes with some problematic baggage, especially for black artists. Over the weekend, he took to Twitter to voice his frustrations. “Stop running up dead black artists streams if the money ain’t going to their families,” he wrote. “We making these vultures even more rich after the these kings die off then their families don’t get shit!!!!!”
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“Shit be wack these artists die n make more millions but their family get nothing their kids get nothing wtf kinda shit is that,” he continues, lamenting the idea that record executives and labels directly benefit from an artist’s death while that same artist’s family might see little to no financial gain. It should be noted that a recent projection indicates that The Best Of DMX is projected to hit number two on the Billboard 200, having moved 78 thousand album-equivalent units.
While Zoey doesn’t provide a clear cut solution to how the issue might be one day absolved, it’s clear that he intends on pushing the conversation forward. Artists have been becoming increasingly vocal about publishing rights, and it’s not uncommon to see rappers moving to inform themselves about music ownership more than ever before. Perhaps we’ll see a new generation of rappers moving to ameliorate some of the more problematic practices. In the meantime, do you believe that there is an unethical side-effect that stems following a spike in posthumous streaming?