Streaming platforms changed the way people consume music. Artists are doing what they can to keep up with the way streaming services continue to change the playing field, and some are even bending the rules to bring in the numbers.

Before his untimely passing in 2020, actor Michael K. Williams went behind the scenes of a streaming farm on the latest episode of his show Black Market on VICE TV. Scammers created stream farms to take advantage of DSPs such as Spotify and Apple Music and rank up the streaming numbers for their clients.

In a clip shared on social media from the new episode, a masked scammer gives Williams an inside look into his business and reveals major artists and labels have come to him to help boost their numbers. People will pay thousands of dollars to have someone boost up their streams, regardless of ethics. The scammer used French Montana as an example of major artists indirectly shining a light on the frowned-upon business.

“Streaming farmers are the engine of a booming black market,” Williams said in the clip. “Music artists are faking their way to the top of the charts.”

In January 2020, French Montana was accused of using a stream farm to help boost his single “Writing on the Wall” featuring Post Malone, Cardi B and Jamaican pop star Rvssian. The song lasted only five weeks on the Billboard Top 200 but mysteriously showed back up on streaming charts.

G-Eazy, who was also mentioned in the Black Market episode, was caught in the middle of the streaming farm fiasco when his management team allegedly tried to pay-for-play in 2019. Rolling Stone obtained audio from a nearly 100-minute call that year between the Blueprint Group, the management firm, and a digital marketer named Joshua Mack, who promised to get streams boosted for a price. HipHopDX‘s article on G-Eazy and his management team was cited in Black Market and people can view the episode in full on VICE TV or on YouTube.

G-Eazy's Team Allegedly Fielded ‘Stream Manipulation' Talks To Boost 2019 Release

Michael K. William’s Black Market is already on season two, and he’s touched on many taboo topics such as New York City’s illegal gambling underworld, the lean market, identity theft, the art of boosting and more. Black Market airs on Mondays at 10 p.m. EST.