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Other Sites Have Fake News, So SoundCloud Has Fake Music

Photo: Comethazine

One of the most heartening stories in music during recent months has been the rapid rise of Nick Simmons, the 18-year old rapper from Birmingham, Alabama, who performs as YBN Nahmir. Having gained a modest reputation freestyling during Grand Theft Auto livestreams, the artist broke out with “Rubbin Off the Paint,” a song whose wry skepticism, understated pride, and good humor, filtered through Simmons’s compact, nasal delivery and enhanced by a brisk, buoyant beat, has earned it over 90 million YouTube plays since its October release. Lifted by streaming onto the Hot 100, where it peaked at No. 46, the track established Simmons as a future star with a distinct aesthetic. Though he hails from the South, Nahmir’s primary influences are from the Bay Area and Chicago; though his songs perform well on SoundCloud, the fog of anger, angst, abrasion, abuse, and bright colors that swirls around the phrase “SoundCloud rapper” escapes him. Nahmir’s image is one of a cheerful, sharp, unflashy kid armed with a handgun, and he’s building a huge fan base off of its strength. The video for his latest song, “Bounce Out With That,” released three weeks ago, already has 24 million YouTube views; last week, it was the top song on the SoundCloud charts by a staggering margin.

And then, suddenly, it was gone, or rather replaced. Comethazine, a west Illinois rapper recently signed to Alamo Records, had usurped Nahmir’s position: A copy of his recent

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