The Cheater’s Guide to Spotify

Scammers Are Gaming Spotify by Faking Collaborations With Famous Artists

Users like Wali Da Great are growing infamous for tricking streaming listeners with falsified metadata

Peter Slattery
Published in
7 min readJun 1, 2020


Photo illustration. Photo source: SIphotography/Getty Images

Welcome to The Cheater’s Guide to Spotify, a series about the schemes that rack up streams, money, and infamy on the popular streaming service.

If you’ve just discovered rising Dallas rapper Lil Loaded, and want to hear a bunch of his hits in one convenient spot, Spotify has just the feature for you. Like many popular artists, there’s a “This Is” playlist for the MC, a grouping of his “essential tracks” that the platform’s team creates. However, listen to the playlist for a while, and a few songs sound out of place. In fact, though tracks 12, 14, and 16 on “This Is Lil Loaded” list Lil Loaded as a featured artist, he’s not on them at all. Instead, you’ll only hear some truly wince-worthy rhymes from some entirely different artist who goes by the name “Wali Da Great.”

People have gone to some pretty silly lengths to inflate their Spotify streaming numbers, but this is a method that’s largely flown under the radar: fake artist features. Similar to other streaming schemes and Soulja Boy’s scams of yore, which involved mislabeled