Chance the Rapper's new album was downloaded and streamed by hundreds of thousands of people after hitting the web last night — unfortunately, none of those were actually authorized. According to Billboard, Chance's new album, Coloring Book, is supposed to be an Apple Music exclusive for the next two weeks. But the album appeared almost immediately on the mixtape site DatPiff, where it reportedly racked up 141,000 downloads and 207,000 streams within just 11 hours.
The leaked stream looked official
It's not clear exactly how this happened. A representative for Chance tells Billboard that the DatPiff posting was a leak; neither Chance nor anyone on his team uploaded it. But it's easy to see how fans may have been confused and gone to DatPiff for the download. For one, DatPiff marked its download as official; and since DatPiff hosts Chance's other two mixtapes, along with a host of other well known downloads from major artists, it seemed reasonable to believe that this was a proper release. Plus, ya know, not everyone wants to pay for Apple Music, and DatPiff had it for free.
The trouble for Chance and Apple appears to be over, at least temporarily. DatPiff has pulled its stream and download of Coloring Book, returning it to an Apple Music exclusive. Of course, the album will almost certainly appear on various piracy sites and services — assuming it hasn't already — but those will require more work to find; DatPiff, on the other hand, had its player embedded across many major websites. DatPiff did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
While the launch of Chance 3 may have been bumpy, there are a couple of other interesting points to pull out of it. First, this is a two week exclusive for Apple Music. Most album exclusives to date have been locked down for a single week, so this could be a sign that exclusivity periods are about to grow longer.
It's also worth noting that this is the first time Chance has put out an album in any sort of industry-official capacity. His other releases were totally free, and therefore ineligible for a Grammy (as most of us learned during "Ultralight Beam"). Letting it stream on Apple Music — even if for only two weeks — would seemingly change that status, as it becomes a commercial release. Bad news for eager fans; good news for next year's Grammy's.