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Outside the Lines With Rap Genius

"OTL 57: Paul Stewart Excerpt #2 The “Cleans” Scam"

Paul Stewart: I came in after "Wild Thing" hit, so then they had some money, and I was hired to help work Tone-Lōc's album, all I did was retail. So I would call record stores all across the country and be like "Do you have the record in stock? Can I send you a promo copy?" And at that time there was no sound scan, and the stores reported to Billboard. There was much shady business going on. You know, people would sell boxes of "cleans" ... All these records were on the Billboard charts - half of 'em didn't sell at all. But people were - the record promoters at the major labels had some ties. I don't know if they would outright pay people but they would give people boxes of what they'd call "cleans" of these records, so if they couldn't sell them in their store they could return them to the distributor for cash or other products. So it was basically like giving them money.

SameOldShawn: Wow, I didn't know about that particular scam.

Paul Stewart: Yeah, and they would take these guys out to lunch or whatever kinda like on the corporate credit card... Things that we didn't do at Delicious. But our records are really hot, and you know, for the most part I would just send people promo copies. For a few people, I sent boxes of records too, to try to get really important accounts. To try to get it up on the Billboard charts. But for the most part, it was happening pretty organically.

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