The top song on the iTunes top song list has been a “song” credited to former President Donald Trump and the “J6 Prison Choir” since Monday.
In “Justice For All,” a pulsing, ambient drone of sound builds behind Trump as he recites the Pledge of Allegiance over a lo-fi track of a group of people singing the “Star-Spangled Banner” from another source.
The J6 Prison Choir is made up of inmates who have all been found guilty of taking part in the riots and assault on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, which the House Select Committee that looked into the incident referred to be a “attempted coup” on the US government.
The song, which was produced by an unidentified, uncredited person, debuted on March 3 and topped the iTunes rankings on Friday. The track sold 4,800 downloads to reach the top and 22,500 over the weekend and up to Monday, according to the music sales tracking firm Luminate.
“It strikes me as a large amount of downloads,” an executive in the music-technology company not affiliated with the release, who asked not to be named given the contentious nature of the song, told Forbes Monday.
Since the rise of streaming technology, sales of music, both digital and physical, have decreased (the World Economic Forum claimed last April that streaming accounts for 65% of the recording industry’s revenue). This enables sales-driven ventures like this to take off as more fans of, say, Miley Cyrus—whose song “Flowers” had been the number-one song until Friday—consume her content via streaming services.
The song has not managed to enter the Billboard charts as a result. Yet Erica Knight, a representative for Kash Patel, a former Trump administration employee involved in the recording, also told Forbes that she anticipates seeing the song on numerous charts when it drops on Tuesday.
The track sells for $1.29 on the iTunes store, and $100 vinyl copies are also offered for purchase. It is said that the earnings will go toward helping the families of those who are incarcerated.
Legal and government ethics experts have swiftly denounced the “song,” which continues a trend by right-wing politicians and media to minimize the events of January 6.
Robert Maguire, research director for the Washington-based watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, stated in a tweet on the day the song was released: “I have never been more repulsed by the mere existence of a song than one sung by a president who tried to do a coup and a literal ‘choir’ of insurrectionists who tried to help him.”