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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Kanye West’s “The Life of Pablo” is Not Platinum Certified, According to RIAA

Don't believe everything you see on the internet. Late last week, Dame Dollar, a National Marketing Director for Roc Nation, according to his Instagram profile, posted a photo of a Platinum plaque for Kanye West's The Life of Pablo.Naturally, the internet didn't ask any questions and just ran with the somewhat random social media post as gospel. But according to the RIAA, the only organization who can authorize Gold or Platinum album and song certifications, Kanye West's The Life of Pablo has earned no certifications, let alone a Platinum certification, for selling the digital download equivalent (as the plaque says) of one million copies. West's last official certification came on August 26, 2016, when 2012 Cruel Summer single "Mercy" became 4x multi-Platinum. Obviously, the plaque that is shown in the Instagram photo is real, as in someone had it made and it really
exists, but it's important to note that it was not distributed by the RIAA. All RIAA-issued plaques for Gold and Platinum certifications contain the official RIAA logo. Following the initial release of The Life of Pablo, the West co-owned streaming platform Tidal, the original, exclusive home of the project before it was made available as a wide release, refused to provide the official data to both Billboard and the RIAA, claiming the album
A photo posted by LOUD Platinum (@damedoller) on
achieved 100 million streams in just two weeks. That number was later updated to 250 million streams in the first 10 days, but it's important to note that the source of the update was a press release by Tidal, not an outside governing body who could verify the data provided. While it's entirely possible that West's latest album has, in fact, achieved the equivalent of 1 million albums sold, this plaque is not an official certification. And unless Def Jam and G.O.O.D Music turn over all of the album stream and digital download data—remember, The Life of Pablo is not available in physical form—we'll likely never know. It's also worth noting that the RIAA, Def Jam, G.O.O.D Music, and Tidal have not acknowledged any The Life of Pablo certification in a press release or social media post.
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