On May 8, 6ix9ine released his new song GOOBA, and Grande and Bieber released their collab Stuck With U, which had the two songs battling for that week’s Billboard No. 1 slot.
After the chart was revealed on Friday, 6ix9ine shared a video on Instagram claiming that Billboard “gets paid for No. 1s.”
“I’mma make this real quick because I be real disappointed in Billboard. It gets paid for No. 1s, somehow manipulates the charts,” 6ix9ine said in his first video about Billboard.
He went on to show his followers the chart forecasts of “what every label in the world gets” before naming off record labels.
The forecast the rapper showed his viewers had 6ix9ine at No. 2 and Grande and Bieber at No. 5.
6ix9ine claimed that Grande and Bieber “went from fifth place to being first place out of nowhere. So GOOBA never jumps to No. 1 but Ariana jumps from No. 5 to No. 1.”
6ix9ine then pulled up Billboard’s tweet about fans being able to receive a signed Stuck With U CD and accused Billboard of manipulating the charts by creating bundle packages for fans to help increase Bieber and Grande’s numbers.
“BILLBOARD DONT LIKE TATTLETALES,” 6ix9ine captioned the post. “@billboard explain this to the millions of artist who never got #1 because you guys play favourites.”
After 6ix9ine accused Billboard of manipulating the charts, the outlet published a piece explaining how they arrive at the numbers each week.
“In an effort towards transparency regarding the Hot 100’s chart rules and tabulation process—and the calculations that go into the determinations of its final rankings — Billboard wanted to clear some things up regarding this week’s chart, and the stats accumulated by the two singles that marked its highest debuts,” the Billboard staff said.
“Streaming numbers visible to the public on audio and video data platforms do not reflect the volume included in Billboard’s chart calculations. Neither do the stream counts that services make available to content owners (including 6ix9ine and his team) directly through a proprietary data feed or dashboard,” Billboard added.
(WARNING: This video contains explicit language.)
Billboard also addressed the “forecast” 6ix9ine showed his followers in his Instagram video and said: “The chart forecast referenced was not created nor provided by Billboard to the industry.”
“Those with access to sales, streaming and radio data from various sources often create their own chart models and update them at their own frequency. Billboard does not distribute any Hot 100 ranking forecast to labels, management or artists,” Billboard clarified.
6ix9ine posted another video to Instagram with more claims on Saturday, captioning it: “@billboard CAUGHT CHEATING. @billboard YOU’RE A LIE AND CORRUPT. YOU GOT CAUGHT CHEATING AND THE WORLD WILL KNOW.”
“I want the world to know that Billboard is a lie,” 6ix9ine said, adding: “You can buy No. 1s on Billboard.”
The 24-year-old rapper went on to accuse Grande and Bieber’s teams of buying plays and downloads for Stuck With U.
“They purchased half of those things with six credit cards,” he continued. “When we asked where was those six credit cards linked to, Billboard said we can’t disclose that information.
“It’s all manipulated, it’s all fabricated,” he said.
Billboard responded to 6ix9ine’s claims about the “six credit cards,” saying: “Billboard and Nielsen Music/MRC Data conducts audits on all sales reported with access to purchase-level detail, and works with data partners to recognize excessive bulk purchases and remove those units from the final sales total.”
Billboard continued: “All titles this week, as in every week, were put under the same scrutiny. (Billboard has reached out to Fame House/Bravado, retailer and reporter of director-to-consumer sales, for further comment about the sales data provided for Stuck With U.)”
On Monday, Grande took to Instagram to refute 6ix9ine’s claims in a lengthy post, attaching a screen shot to Billboard’s chart.
“Thank u to everybody who supported this song, this cause and made this happen. We love uuuuu so much. There’s so much to celebrate today,” Grande began her post.
She continued: “However, I would like to say a few things. Anyone who knows me or has followed me for a while knows that numbers aren’t the driving force in anything I do. I’m grateful to sing. Grateful to have people who want to listen. Grateful to even be here at all. I didn’t have a number one for the first five years of my career and it didn’t upset me at all because from the bottom of my heart, music is everything to me. my fans are everything to me.”
Grande said she promises “I couldn’t ask for another f–king thing.”
“I would like to address a few things which I don’t usually do (I don’t give my energy to drama or strange accusations normally but this has gone a little too far)…my fans bought the song,” she wrote. “JUSTIN’S fans bought the song. OUR fans bought this song (never more than four copies each, AS THE RULES STATE).”
Grande called her fans “ride or die motherf—ers” and said she thanks “God every day that I have them in my life.”
“Sales count for more than streams. U can not discredit this as hard as U try,” she wrote before addressing that 6ix9ine has only called her out and not Bieber.
“To anybody that is displeased with their placement on the chart this week or who is spending their time racking their brain thinking of as many ways as they can to discredit hardworking women (and only the women for some reason…..) I ask U to take a moment to humble yourself,” she wrote.
“Be grateful you’re even here. That people want to listen to U at all. It’s a blessed position to be in. I’ve had a lot of ‘almost number ones’ in my career and I never said a goddamn thing because I FEEL GRATEFUL TO EVEN BE HERE. TO WANT TO BE HEARD AT ALL ….,” she wrote.
“And you should feel that way too. Congratulations to all my talented a– peers in the top ten this week. Even number 3,” she wrote, congratulating 6ix9ine on his place on the chat.
“And thank U to @billboard for this honour. And thank U to everybody who helped us raise a lot of money for a very important cause this week. Love U all a lot,” Grande concluded.
Bieber released a statement on his Instagram Stories on Monday, saying that 6ix9ine is “counting his global streams and this is a domestic chart so only domestic streams count.”
“60,000 units came because we don’t disclose our numbers until end of the week,” Bieber explained. “That’s called strategy.”
Bieber addressed 6ix9ine’s credit card allegations, saying, “He said 30k was bough with 6 credit cards but that is a lie. The rules are clear one credit card can buy max 4 copies. Anything over that the entire amount gets thrown out.”
“Nielsen company checks this and found all our sales were legit because our fans are amazing and bought them. Don’t discredit our fan base with false info,” Bieber wrote.
“This is my song with Ariana Grande and I’m honoured to work with her to help raise money for a great cause. If you gonna say her name make sure you say mine because it’s our song,” Bieber concluded.
6ix9ine responded to Grande with another video on Instagram to explain that his frustrations are with Billboard and not the Thank U, Next singer.
“@arianagrande All I’m saying is I worked super hard to make it out of Brooklyn NY. I speak for the millions of kids who aren’t as fortunate as you. The millions who weren’t fortunate to be on T.V.. LIFE is REAL when you’re on welfare LIFE is REAL when you grow up with out a father. You don’t know what that is like. You say for me to be humble …. I don’t think you know what humble is………. YOU ARE VERY TALENTED AND BEAUTIFUL GOD BLESS YOU. But you will NEVER UNDERSTAND MY PAIN,” 6ix9ine captioned the video.
“I don’t want you to think that I am coming at you,” the STOOPID rapper said. “Not saying that you’re not talented, not saying that you can’t sing. You are a beautiful singer. You just don’t understand my pain.
“My mom used to collect cans on the street. I used to bus tables and be a dishwasher,” 6ix9ine said before showing clips of Grande as a teenager starring on Nickelodeon’s Sam & Cat and Victorious.
In a followup post, 6ix9ine posed with six credit cards and captioned the photo: “Don’t worry we going #1 next time @billboard.”