UPDATE (November 26):
In a statement to XXL, Atlantic Records vehemently deny using bots for every artist on their roster. “Atlantic Records has never used bots for any of our artists,” it says.
Many rappers have personal cheat codes that give them that little bit extra when it comes to their music and fandom. But some fans are accusing Atlantic Records of cheating when it comes to using bots to increase engagement with the music videos of Lil Uzi Vert, Roddy Ricch, Don Toliver and other rappers.
On Saturday (Nov. 26), DJ Akademiks jumped on his Twitter account and criticized Atlantic Records for allegedly manipulating opinions about their artists’ videos. Days before, several fans accused Don Toliver of using bots in his “Do It Right” music video.
“Don Toliver is here paying on YouTube…” one person tweeted earlier this week.
“They said don toliver bought views on his recent music video,” another fan wrote.
Another commenter tweeted: “Don Toliver is really botching views [man face palming emoji] [tears of joy emoji].”
“Don Toliver just got exposed for blunt views and comments on his new song lol,” another fan wrote.
This prompted Ak to agree with his criticism: “Damn.. Atlantic Records went from hella lit to shit a few years ago,” he wrote. “They literally threw in the towel with marketing and promoting their artists.
More fans jumped in, claiming that bots were involved in the commentary section of Don Toliver’s video for “Do It Right.”
“Can’t you cook? [sob emojis] why he is my favorite jackboy [weary emoji]’ said one fan.
“Go to Don Toliver’s most recent music video; sort comments by new and keep scrolling. Let me know how many genuine comments you find,” another person tweeted.
Another fan also claimed that Lil Uzi Vert is facing the same issue with his music video for “Just Wanna Rock” but that’s because he is trending at number 1 on streaming platforms.
“Uzi’s video suffers from a similar problem; partly because it’s trending #1, but we know Uzi’s song is a hit,” the fan wrote. “It’s got 60 million streams on Spotify and it’s being talked about everywhere. Don Toliver on the other hand… that’s not the case.”
XXL has contacted Atlantic Records for comment.
To be honest, bots are just part of the digital ecosystem. According to TechTarget, bots are a computer program that acts as an agent for a user or another program to simulate human activity. They are different types of bots and they are everywhere: on Instagram, Twitter and other social media platforms.
Bots are little different on YouTube, so it’s unclear how they get engagement on the platform, either by paying people or through artist management separate from the record label. In general, bots are here to stay and they’re not going to leave any time soon.
Fans have expressed their views on using bots to promote artists.
“Atlantic Records is cooked for spamming their artists like Lil UziVert and Roddy Rich new videos with bots in the comments to increase engagement. Ppl really surprised?!? They do the same with streams to boost the numbers. Labels are corrupt from their inception,” one person opined.
“They are doing that, have you ever seen a YouTube comment section on music videos??? I know even underground artists buy bots for views,” another fan tweeted.
Hopefully, record labels and managers will come back to relying on real authentic involvement and not relying on analytics and computers to promote their music artists.
See 12 rappers who deleted their social media accounts