Ten doses of the DJ Khaled-endorsed Awake Energy Shot, plus a digital download of the album Father of Asahd, will set any fan of caffeine or Khaled back about $23 on the online retailer Shop.com. But the sales of that bundle might be to blame as to why Father of Asahd failed to debut at the top of the Billboard charts, says a report from the New York Times.
According to the Times, DJ Khaled's Father of Asahd and Tyler, the Creator's Igor were recently fighting for the top spot, with a similar number of streams, so Billboard compared the bundle campaigns for both albums. Bundling is a common practice of providing album downloads along with merch or other sales, since album downloads hold more weight than streams. Because of the way Shop.com's parent company, Market America, promoted bulk sales, Billboard disqualified DJ Khaled's bundles, amounting to the loss of least 100,000 sales, according to Page Six (that number was allegedly disputed by its sources at Billboard). The online store allegedly encouraged members via blog post to "buy 12 packages [of energy drinks] to 'push DJ Khaled and Market America to No.1!"
Market America, a multilevel marketing company, has been accused of being an "illegal pyramid scheme" that unfairly targets Chinese American immigrants and pushes sales quotas, according to a 2017 racketeering lawsuit. As Deanna Brown, the president of the Billboard-Hollywood Reporter Media Group, told the Times, "We saw an organization encouraging purchases among their members by promising them material and organizational benefits."
Sources told Page Six that DJ Khaled reportedly had a tantrum over the situation last week and that his lawyers have contacted Billboard to appeal the situation. Currently, however, Father of Asahd is at the top of the Billboard chart for R&B/Hip-Hop album sales, while Igor has dropped to No. 2. Who wants to celebrate with an energy shot?