Not another one.
Music bundling and bloated albums are among the latest attempts by artists to skew album charting, streaming numbers, and sales in their favor.
DJ Khaled is not the first nor the last to join the endless debate about the validity of these kinds of marketing strategies.
After his latest album, Father of Asahd, charted at number 2 (behind Tyler the Creator's IGOR) Khaled threatened to sue, claiming his album sold more than Billboard stated. The controversy stems from Khaled's bundle deal with Hype Power: With a purchase of the DJ Khaled Official Energy Drink Vibes Berry Colada, customers also receive a download link of his album.
According to Khaled, Billboard agreed to recognize the bundle deal as a part of the album sales but then backtracked, arguing there were "anomalies" in the financial records. Khaled accused Billboard of hypocrisy since they recognized Tyler the Creator's merch bundles as a part of record sales.
The threatened lawsuit reopens the conversation about record sales and how institutions like Billboard quantify and justify an album's "number one spot" on the charts. The debate continues to put artists at odds and in competition with each other. Similar to Khaled, Nicki Minaj claimed that Travis Scott's Astroworld did not deserve to beat her album, Queen, on the charts after his tour bundles boosted his album sales.
Although many sided with Scott, Minaj's highly anticipated album and unsuccessful comeback have Billboard reassessing their rules regarding bundle deals with merchandise. While the music industry has been able to keep up with the shift from sales to streaming, the questionable tactics used to influence record numbers are a key issue that could be blown wide open if brought to court. Only time will tell, but either way, we can all agree Khalid's chaotic 15-track album with 29 features doesn't deserve any more attention than it's already received.
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It's your own fault for expecting better from someone who promotes toxic diet products and who culturally appropriates like claiming tax deductions.
Travel back in time: Before the media made Prince Harry and Meghan Markle the stars of the multiracial fairy tale Disney has never provided us, Prince Harry attended a party with one of the dumbest themes of all time.
In 2005, a young, rich, and ridiculously tone-deaf Harry attended a "colonial and native" costume party dressed as a Nazi. It was outrageous and especially strange for a member of the high-profile (albeit powerless) royal family, but, hey, all 20-year-olds are idiots.
This past weekend Kylie Jenner, the 21-year-old member of America's de facto (and frighteningly powerful) royal family, topped the list of offensive, tone-deaf, and ridiculously privileged party themes when she threw her friend a Handmaid's Tale-themed birthday party. Kylie and Sofia Richie posted photos of the detailed affair to Instagram, with Jenner posting to her Instagram Story: "You know The Handmaid's Tale is my favorite show ever … so for Stassi's birthday … welcome to Gilead."
Of course, when you're not the world's youngest billionaire, The Handmaid's Tale is not so much a cute party theme but rather Margaret Atwood's cautionary tale about female objectification and oppression in a dystopian, totalitarian future (which, thanks to a conservative Senate, seems closer to reality every time Congress convenes).
It's an impressive display of ignorance that lacks all the self-awareness you'd expect from the Jenner-Kardashian who's culturally appropriated dreadlocks and cornrows for the sake of a selfie and who heinously waited 20 years to try cereal with milk. Accordingly, Twitter exploded with indignation at the bald display of poor taste, naivety, and sheltered privilege that drove Jenner to host a party with cocktails named "Praise Be Vodka" and "Under His Eyes Tequila."
Really, it's our fault for expecting better from someone who promotes toxic diet products like "miracle" diet teas and who claims cultural staples like tax deductions. Even if Jenner follows her sister Kendall's example and publicly apologizes for her tone deafness, Kylie's brand shouldn't be held to higher expectations than this Gilead stunt. After all, it took Prince Harry 12 years to go "from Nazi dress-ups to model royal," Maybe in 12 years, all we'll remember is how "Handmaid's Tale Garb Is the Viral Protest Uniform of 2019" and think Kylie was a subtle feminist icon. God help us all.
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