Lofi Fruits: Exposing the biggest fraud on the lofi scene


If you're a lofi hip hop beatmaker, there's a pretty solid chance that during the few past months, you've received an email from a label called Lofi Fruits - as it appears they have been spamming every stone that makes lofi, some of which even multiple times.

Sadly, it's been only a matter of time for lofi to turn into a cash grab. And it's only logical - lofi beats are not exactly rocket science and the entry-level of skill and studio knowledge is fairly low, creating the ideal conditions for creating dozens of cheap, low quality "factory-produced" beats with only one intention - to get them on a botnet playlist in order to make some quick cash.

It's not like that this wasn't happening before. People have been trying to game Spotify for their own good since the very beginning - creating albums with only white noise (or completely silent tracks), mimicking popular song titles to take advantage of a confused listener, using botnets to inflate stream counts and way more. But it's way sadder when an actual label succumbs to such shitty practices and starts screwing over other artists.

Anyway, as some of you may not have heard of Lofi Fruits yet, I'll briefly introduce the label. It's a fairly new label (add time founded) and apparently a sublabel of Strange Fruits, a big label aimed at EDM music owned by Steve Void (real name ...)´.

1) Shady contract, unfair to the artist

2) Not paying artists (need to get testimonials)

3) Fake artists - insert the list of all artists, their profiles, their shared numbers

4) Rips names of famous tracks (so there is a confusion and people might end up playing theirs song)

5) Extremely inflated numbers with bots

6) Trying to buy out all the other big playlist (prolly to get rid of competition)

7) Sending false reports on other people's playlist on Spotify (prolly as a revenge and to get rid of the competition)

8) Mocking real producers on twitter and even threatening them

8) Why doesn't Spotify care?

1) Shady contract, unfair to the artist

To begin with, unfortunately, the contract itself is perfectly fine (legally), but the other thing is that it's written in a way that makes things look way brighter than they really are and conveniently doesn't mention what actually happens with your single after it gets released. Anyway, I'll focus on that later, let's get down with the contract itself first. 

The first thing is the split - 30/70. Some of you may say that 30% of something is still better than 100% of nothing, but please, ask yourself first if you value your music so low that you're basically letting some other guys keep 70% of all the money it makes. This is definitely not a standard artist/label split, this is a split that's meant to take the advantage of an artist, with mostly those less informed artists (and potentially new ones to the scene) being endangered, as they may even get the impression that this is normal from the lack of comparison opportunities.

And then, there's the other part. Your single first have to earn enough to pay off that initial $1000 debt (amount which should be according to the contract used for marketing the single by the label), and only after then you may see some money going your way. And even though that they own a MASSIVE playlist with over 2 million followers, unfortunately, it doesn't seem there's any light on the end of the tunnel after those $1000 is paid off. Which brings me to the second point:

2) Lofi Fruits are not paying the artists

And they have a very clever and perfectly legal way how to do that. They only have to take your track off their playlist after they get what they wanted. You may now object, that the artist must certainly earn a lot of new followers from that playlist, who save that artist's music to their own library or playlist and keep listening to it even after the track is removed from the Lofi Fruits playlists, BUT... Yeah, there's again a "but". 

First, it appears that most of those followers are fake and most of those listens are actually bot streams (again, I'll talk about this later), and also, generally in lofi playlists, the "follow rate" isn't very high even with "human listeners" (check this blog post that explains more). Despite all those are speculations only, the bottom line here is that I have personally contacted multiple artists who released with Lofi Fruits, and "surprisingly", none of them has received ANY money from the label so far, despite their monthly listeners skyrocketed to six-figure numbers.

3) They're running multiple fake artist accounts


4) They're ripping off famous track titles and producer names

Personally, I find this especially condemnable, as they're basically stealing someone's else identity to use it to take advantage of confused listeners who may end up mistakenly playing a Lofi Fruits song instead of that one they wanted. Maybe you've heard Powfu's take on Beebadoobie's song Coffee called "Death Bed", which got extremely popular. Now take a quick look at another track called "Death Bed", that has been produced by Fets, Koosen & Formal Chicken (all three Lofi Fruit's fake artists) and check out that little "label" text under the song... I really wonder what would Powfu say if he found out.

5) They have suspiciously inflated follower counts

A playlist with 2 million followers sure does look like a lofi beatmaker's wet dream, but when you realize that the label has been around for only like a few months, you start to smell something fishy...and you're probably right again. I've run their playlist through the Chartmetric's free analytics tool and despite the free tier is terribly limited, I got at least some insights into how many people or bots out of that 2 million are really listening. Turns out not that much, with average monthly listeners oscillating around 300k (15%) and a nice maximum of around a whopping 1 million (50%). But those are actually quite normal numbers - when compared to the Spotify's own "Lo-fi Beats" editorial playlist with 3 million followers, the numbers were kinda close.

What's way more interesting is how fast did that playlist get to those 2 million followers. There are reports saying it was getting even a 20k new followers a day, which seems a bit over the top compared to Chilled Cow, getting only around 4k new followers a day. Yeah, THAT Chilled Cow that basically popularized lofi around the whole world, probably being the biggest player in the whole lofi game right now. Also, why not compare those numbers also to Spotify's "Lo-fi Beats" again - around 3k followers increase per day. Against 20k...

That's again quite suspicious and even if that playlist was initially bought from someone else, already having some followers when Lofi Fruits got ahold of it, 20 thousand real followers a day is just unreal even when considering massive investments into advertising. And when you remember all those fake followers Lofi Fruits bought for their fake artists, I guess you get the picture here, too.

Sadly, the inflated numbers thing still doesn't end here. There's even more evidence that they're doing it on their Instagram. Again, they are getting hundreds of followers each day, but on the other side, the Instagram profile lacks the corresponding amount of activity on their content, again suggesting those followers aren't real.

8) They're mocking real artists on Twitter and even threatening them

This was the last drop for me before I snapped and started writing this piece, but funnily enough, it turned out that those Twitter accounts are probably more like some sort of guerilla war against Lofi Fruits and they're actually not anyhow linked to the label. At least that's what Steve Void claimed when one of the beatmakers emailed him about it. And I actually kinda believe that, because when you run such a shady business, the last thing you'd do is making a bunch of Twitter accounts and mocking other people, effectively putting you into the limelight and pissing off beyond belief every single beatmaker out there.