Planet Money tries to turn Inflation, the song, into a viral hit : Planet Money Since we started Planet Money Records and released the 47-year-old song "Inflation," the song has taken off. It recently hit 1 million streams on Spotify. And we now have a full line of merch — including a limited edition vinyl record; a colorful, neon hoodie; and 70s-inspired stickers —

After starting a label and negotiating our first record deal, we're taking the Inflation song out into the world to figure out the hidden economics of the music business. Things get complicated when we try to turn the song into a viral hit. Just sounding good isn't enough and turning a profit in the music business means being creative, patient and knowing the right people.

This is part three of the Planet Money Records series. Here's part one and part two.

Listen to "Inflation" on
Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube Music, Tidal, Amazon Music & Pandora.

Listen to our remix, "Inflation [136bpm]," on
Spotify, YouTube Music & Amazon Music.

Inflation" is on TikTok. (And — if you're inspired — add your own!)

This episode was reported by Erika Beras and Sarah Gonzalez, produced by Emma Peaslee and James Sneed, edited by Jess Jiang and Sally Helm, engineered by Brian Jarboe, and fact-checked by Sierra Juarez.
Music: "
Inflation," "Superfly Fever," "Nola Strut" and "Inflation [136bpm]."

Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in
Apple Podcasts or at

Planet Money Records Vol. 3: Making a hit

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Remember this song?


EARNEST JACKSON AND SUGAR DADDY AND THE GUMBO ROUX: (Singing) Now people, stop what you're doing, and listen to what I have to say.

BERAS: We're back.


EARNEST JACKSON AND SUGAR DADDY AND THE GUMBO ROUX: (Singing) 'Cause inflation is in the nation, and it's about to put us all away. I said inflation...

BERAS: It's been 4 1/2 months since we released our single "Inflation" by Earnest Jackson & Sugar Daddy and the Gumbo Roux. This is part three of a series.


If you haven't listened to parts one and two, here's what you need to know. We introduced you to a guy named Earnest Jackson.

EARNEST JACKSON: A lot of people say I sound like Satchmo now, Louis Armstrong.

BERAS: Earnest Jackson has been trying to make it in the music industry for more than 60 years.

JACKSON: Yes, indeed 'cause that's been my dream since I was a little boy. I've always wanted to be a superstar.

GONZALEZ: So PLANET MONEY decided to become a record label to release this one Earnest Jackson song from the '70s and see if we can make a hit and make some money.

BERAS: We put the inflation song out into the world in October. And then we waited to see if anyone would listen.


EARNEST JACKSON AND SUGAR DADDY AND THE GUMBO ROUX: (Singing) Why don't you get out the nation?

GONZALEZ: So how's our song doing?

SAM DUBOFF: You guys are doing great. Fans are really loving "Inflation."

GONZALEZ: This is Sam Duboff. He works at Spotify.

DUBOFF: Really impressive numbers for a first song released.

GONZALEZ: Are you just telling us that, or is it, like, actually impressive?

DUBOFF: It's actually impressive.


DUBOFF: It really is. Yeah. You guys are crushing it.

BERAS: Less than a month after our song dropped, "Inflation" had been listened to around 400,000 times. That was our total number of streams across all the sites - Apple Music, YouTube Music, Amazon Music, TIDAL, Pandora. But Spotify was the big one. About 360,000 of those 400,000 streams came from Spotify.

GONZALEZ: And a lot of the people listening to our song there were very likely PLANET MONEY listeners. But there were also people just listening to music on Spotify. They likely had no idea about our record label project. They don't know who Earnest Jackson is or PLANET MONEY. And one day, our song, the inflation song, just, like, popped up for them.

BERAS: And Sam says they listened over and over.

DUBOFF: Those are listeners who are connecting with the song, who may not have heard your show, and loving it.

GONZALEZ: Except people didn't actually just stumble into our song on their own. We did this one big thing as a record label to try to get our song in front of more people.

BERAS: We pitched the editors at Spotify to try to get what is called playlisted. This is a free thing. We told them all about our long-lost song to see if they would add it to these really popular playlists that are - you know, they're kind of like mixtapes that millions of people follow. And they did. They added "Inflation" to this playlist called Blues Classics. Earnest Jackson is up there next to artists like Etta James and Jimi Hendrix. And enough people ended up liking the song that it got on to other playlists.

DUBOFF: It got added to Blues Drive, Funky Blues.

GONZALEZ: "Inflation" started taking off a little bit. Our song got featured in Billboard magazine.

BERAS: People are listening to the song in Brazil and Mexico, Nigeria, Kazakhstan, Belgium, Norway, Japan, Australia.

GONZALEZ: "Inflation" is global, baby. By December, in our first two months as a record label, we had gotten more than 713,000 listens across all the streaming sites.

BERAS: But we had not gotten any money. It takes a couple of months for the money to start trickling in.

GONZALEZ: Finally, on March 1, four months and four days after our song dropped, we saw how much money we got for those 700,000-ish streams across just those few days in October, all of November and all of December.

JACKSON: Yeah, I have a envelope here, NPR. Boy, they got it sealed mighty tight here (laughter). Oh, here we go. OK, let's see. Boom. Oh, OK. I didn't expect that.


GONZALEZ: Hello, and welcome to PLANET MONEY Records. I'm Sarah Gonzalez.

BERAS: And I'm Erika Beras.

GONZALEZ: How you get paid for a song has been described as a black box. But we have our first check, so now we can look inside that black box.

BERAS: Also, a hit doesn't become a hit just because it's so good. You have to promote it. And if you want to promote a song totally and completely legally, it can get complicated.

GONZALEZ: Today on the show, we find out what happens when you throw some money at a song.


BERAS: Before we became a record label, we knew that on a song you get paid based on how many people listen to it. But no one could really tell us how much money we would get per listen. We heard it was something like a third of a penny or half a penny for every stream, maybe more, maybe less.

GONZALEZ: But now that we have our first check, we can see how much our singer and songwriter, Earnest Jackson, gets for 713,000 streams.

JACKSON: Oh. Oh. OK. I didn't expect that. It was over a grand, y'all. It was over a grand. Yes, indeed. Look at that (laughter). Yes, indeed.

BERAS: Earnest is genuinely really, really happy.

JACKSON: You know, I recorded this song in 1975, and all of a sudden, you all get a hold of it and look what happens.

BERAS: Earnest made $1,098.82 for his streams. These are his streaming royalties. Royalties are how you get paid if you own part of a song.

GONZALEZ: Now we, the label, we made $387.82 on those streams. And the band, the guitarist on the song, the keyboardist, the drummer's widow, they each get $274.70. And then we all get more for downloads.

BERAS: So in all, Earnest has made $1,142.35.

GONZALEZ: We did do the math, and we have figured out that you, Earnest, are getting a sixth of a penny every time someone streams your song.

JACKSON: Oh, OK, a sixth then. All right. That's how it goes (laughter). A sixth of a penny. Well, let it keep going. Lord, please, in Jesus' name (laughter) let those sixth of a penny add up.

BERAS: This is what he's getting with a record deal that we designed to be more favorable to the artist than the norm.

GONZALEZ: How does that feel as an artist to hear like, oh?

JACKSON: A sixth of a penny, well, it feels like it's not enough, you know? But I don't know exactly how they calculate all this up.

GONZALEZ: This is all calculated based on something called stream share. Basically, on a song, you do not get paid per stream or per listen. You get paid based on how many streams your song gets in one month compared to how many streams every other song in the country gets that same month, and your share of streams is different in every country every single month. So, for example, we uploaded our song the same month Taylor Swift dropped her latest album. She got 184.6 million streams in one day. So our share of streams is a lot less than it would have been if we released our song on a non-Taylor Swift month.

BERAS: But then it'd be like a Bad Bunny month or a Beyonce month. You can't really game the timing. There's just always going to be something.

GONZALEZ: So our first check, it was not huge.

BERAS: But look, we haven't spent any money promoting the song. All the streams we've gotten, we've gotten for free. So now we're going to spend some money to promote it.

GONZALEZ: We've already spent $10,000 on this project. For promotion, we set aside another $5,000. And for a while now, Earnest has really just wanted us to focus on one thing.

JACKSON: I want you all to get it in all the radio stations in America. That's the main thing that I want, you know, because everybody knows stream, Spotify and YouTube and all that. So this is what I want to happen. And if disc jockeys all over America were playing it, we would all be getting checks for quite some time.

GONZALEZ: Getting on the radio would bring in more money. It's a totally different royalty from the streaming royalty. It's like a radio royalty. And we want all these little pots of money coming in from everywhere.

JACKSON: You know, you all are new in this business. You need to talk to somebody that's really been in the business who could direct your path.

BERAS: OK. To direct our path and to figure out how we can get our song played over and over on the radio, we call up a music law professor at the University of Colorado who's also a former disc jockey.

GONZALEZ: Like, turntables, sliders, like, that kind of DJ?

KRISTELIA GARCIA: Right, right, right. Yes, briefly, in college and law school, yeah.

GONZALEZ: So you were, like, a cool girl.

GARCIA: (Laughter) I don't know. Maybe the quieter one. But...

GONZALEZ: I think so.

BERAS: (Laughter).

GONZALEZ: Kristelia Garcia used to work at Universal Music, MySpace Music. She managed bands. And Kristelia says songs do not just get on the radio because they are just so great. That is just what artists like to believe.

GARCIA: I think it's romantic. It's romantic to believe that the reason your song is getting all this airtime is just because it's just so good - right? - as opposed to because your record label has a lot of clout.

BERAS: To get a song on the radio, Kristelia says record labels pay someone called a radio promoter. They're essentially a middleman. Their job is to put songs in front of radio station DJs and say, hey, do you want to consider playing the song on your station?

GARCIA: They say, OK, here's all the new stuff. This is the hit track. And so we'd, you know, love to see you spin that in your whatever the popular driving home from work program, whatever the case may be. And that would be it.

GONZALEZ: That's how you get a song on the radio.


GONZALEZ: So this is what we're going to try to do. We actually spoke to a real radio promoter. They charge, like, $10,000, which is double our total promotion budget. So we're going to have to do this ourselves. There are three radio stations we really want to get, and apparently, we needed to talk to Mookie in LA, Russ in New York and Dan in Philly.

BERAS: So we emailed them with our best pitch and, like, 20 other stations, too, and nothing - crickets - for months.

GARCIA: Right. So it's not easy to be a radio promoter, right? You have to already have relationships with these people because a cold email does what cold emails usually do, right? It plummets.

GONZALEZ: Yeah. But also when we emailed these radio stations as part of a network of radio stations asking these DJs to, like, you know, come on, please, please, just play our song on the radio, we may have been putting out these, like, weird bribe-y (ph) vibes. And in the music industry, weird bribe-y vibes are known as payola, and no one wants to be seen as payola-ing.

GARCIA: Payola, put simply, is paying for placement, right? We're talking about paying a DJ to play your song on the radio.

BERAS: People have been paying to get songs listened to since the days of vaudeville, like paying a performer to sing your song on stage. But Cristela says paying to get your song played started to get a bad reputation when rock 'n' roll came on the scene in the 1950s.

GONZALEZ: Yeah, in the beginning, rock 'n' roll was considered Black music.

GARCIA: Most radio stations weren't playing it, and most radio stations forbid their DJs from playing it. But there were a couple of DJs, Alan Freed in particular - he really liked rock music and, you know, didn't seem to have a problem with playing Black music. So he would play it.

BERAS: So Black artists were like, OK, I mean, I guess we should just go straight to the DJs, pay them to play our song.

GARCIA: There was just no other way to get exposure for your music.

BERAS: And white artists had been paying DJs, too. They just didn't like it when Black artists started taking some of the airtime.

GARCIA: Who, they argued, were just paying their way to get onto the airwaves, which is technically correct, but not because their music was no good, but just because it was the only way to get in, like kind of get their foot in the door.

GONZALEZ: All these bad feelings around paying for placement lead to these big payola investigations in Congress in the late '50s and early '60s. And Congress decides officially that, no, it is not illegal to pay for placement. You just have to disclose it. Radio stations have to say, we got money to play this song. And I mean, if you have to disclose that you paid to get your song on the radio, I mean, you're probably not going to do it right? - 'cause, like, oh my gosh, how embarrassing, right? You had to pay to get your song played? So embarrassing.

BERAS: Except how radio stations disclose that they're paid is kind of up to them. They can be a little sneaky about it, say something like, sponsored by such and such records. By the 1970s, paying for play is out of control. White artists, Black artists - everyone is doing it and not always in the legal way.

GARCIA: It could look like backstage access plus tickets for all your friends to go to this show. It could look like, you know...

BERAS: Right.

GARCIA: ...The traditional sort of, you know, girls and drugs. It could look like any sort of, you know, in-kind payment for - in exchange for promoting...

BERAS: Sorry, you just said girls and drugs, and it took me a minute. I was like, girls and drugs? Uh-huh, right, right.

GONZALEZ: Maybe we can send a DJ a concert ticket.

BERAS: We can send them some NPR tote bags, you know?


GONZALEZ: Not quite drugs, but yeah, we could offer DJs money or tote bags to play our song and see if anyone bites. That kind of payment would be OK as long as the stations disclosed it. But Kristelia says in 2023, there is a new and better way to get a song played.

BERAS: There are people with really popular playlists. Thousands of people listen to the songs they have up, and you can literally Venmo these playlists, like, 200 bucks to add your song. Kristelia has talked to artists and labels who pay all the time to do this.

GARCIA: They didn't have this as, like, a line item in their marketing budget, right? This was something they were doing secretly, hush-hush, again, because of this feeling that, like, if the song was good enough, then we wouldn't have to pay someone to play it. It would just, like, somehow be heard drifting from a window, and then, the influencer would pick it up and just love it - right? - which, as you know from having tried to promote a song, is impossible. Like, there's so much out there.

GONZALEZ: The point of trying to get on all these playlists is kind of to trick the algorithm on Spotify. The algorithm sees a song popping up on a bunch of playlists, and it goes, OK, clearly people are liking this song. Let's feed the song to more people. It is all about the algorithm.

BERAS: Should we do this? Should we, like, reach out to some of these third-party...

GARCIA: Yeah. (Laughter) It's 2023. That's what we do.

BERAS: Under payola rules, you don't even have to disclose when you pay to get playlisted because the payola rules were set before playlists and streaming music existed. They only apply to radio or TV. But this is kind of murky territory because Spotify does say very clearly, if you are giving someone money for guaranteed placement on a playlist, that is against our policies.

DUBOFF: No, you cannot pay to put your song on any Spotify playlist. Don't do it.


BERAS: We will not.

GONZALEZ: We won't. We promise we won't do it.

BERAS: That's Sam again from Spotify. Now, some services say they don't guarantee your song will get on a playlist. They just say there is a possibility of it. And even Spotify is like, OK, maybe that's not a violation of our definitely-don't-pay-to-play rule.

GONZALEZ: Yeah, but this rule does feel like an arbitrary line in the sand a little bit because Spotify is saying, no, you definitely cannot pay for a 100% guarantee that your song will be put in front of more people in the form of a playlist, but they do let you pay to put your song in front of more people in these other ways.

BERAS: When we first released the inflation song, Spotify had told us we could pay them to promote it, but our song had to get to 5,000 listens first. And we did.

DUBOFF: You sure did. Yeah, by a mile.

GONZALEZ: But it turns out those listens would only help us on some future song.

DUBOFF: You'd be set up for his next single - a remix and any sort of new release.

BERAS: We considered putting out a merengue version of "Inflation," but then, we decided to do what lots of musicians are doing these days - just speed it up and rerelease it. And we have dropped that remix. It's out there - same song, just a little faster.


EARNEST JACKSON AND SUGAR DADDY AND THE GUMBO ROUX: (Singing) Inflation, why don't you get out the nation?

BERAS: Dropping this remix lets us pay for a little pop-up to appear on Spotify. It'll cost us $0.35 every time someone clicks on it. And remember, we make less than a penny every time someone streams the song. But whatever. The hope is they listen again and again.

GONZALEZ: Also, we're spending another thousand dollars on ads on Spotify for our original song. When you're listening to the free version, you might hear this.


JACKSON: Hello, everybody. This is Earnest Jackson. I have this song called "Inflation" with a band called Sugar Daddy and the Gumbo Roux. It's been in the can for 47 years. I want you to check it out 'cause it's with that funk.

(Singing) Bum, bum, bum, bum, bum. Bum, bum, bum, bum, bum.

Yeah, that's that real groove. That's that New Orleans thing, you know? The song is called "Inflation" by Earnest Jackson. Check the funk out.


GONZALEZ: After the break, we find a loophole, a way to legally pay for some play - on TikTok. Also, we have merch including vinyl records. Just a few.


BERAS: We're back. It's PLANET MONEY Records, and we've been trying to figure out how to get our song "Inflation" played and streamed and monetized. And these days, one of the biggest ways to find new music is on TikTok. It's where songs like "Old Town Road" exploded.


LIL NAS X: (Singing) Going to Take my horse to the old town road. I'm going to...

GONZALEZ: And where songs like "Love Nwantiti" went totally viral.


CKAY: (Singing) Dey gbakam isi. Ule, open am make I see (ph).

GONZALEZ: People were making TikToks of themselves dancing with these songs in the background. It's how a lot of people discovered these songs. And then, those people went on to stream the songs. And that's what we want.

BERAS: And there is a person at TikTok whose job it is to advise record labels.

MARISA JEFFRIES: My name is Marisa Jeffries.

BERAS: We tell Marisa, we want to get on TikTok. And Marisa tells us, you kind of already are.

JEFFRIES: So if you type in Earnest Jackson "Inflation," you'll see that there's videos that will pop up.


GONZALEZ: Wait, people have made videos of our song?


GONZALEZ: OK. I'm on TikTok (laughter).

JEFFRIES: You'll see there's, like, a crocheting video.

GONZALEZ: OK. It says, why am I crocheting this scarf for a day in November? Inflation is in the nation (laughter).

BERAS: Oh, that's amazing (laughter).

GONZALEZ: That's cool.

JEFFRIES: But it's also - like, if you read the comments, this person is saying, I'm trying to do my part to make sure that people have warmth as winter approaches. So it's like people are just taking this song and the lyrics in different ways.

GONZALEZ: There's also this, like, informational TikTok where some guy just has five tips to fight inflation, and our song is playing behind it all.

JEFFRIES: One of the other videos, someone is literally using the song, and the only thing that they have put in their video is a picture of a stack of plates at the grocery store - like paper plates?

GONZALEZ: Oh, my God. This guy with the paper plates TikTok - sorry.


BERAS: I think we lost Sarah to TikTok.


GONZALEZ: It's a stack of plates for $19.72 - for paper plates.

BERAS: We get royalties every time someone uses our song on TikTok, too. So far, we've gotten one penny - very, very little. But if we go viral, maybe it can add up to something big. So Marisa says we should have Earnest Jackson make some TikToks. But Earnest, you know, he's pretty offline.

GONZALEZ: Or, Marisa tells us, we could also distance ourselves from "Inflation" completely and lean in to this other part of the song, the intro, which kind of just speaks to, like, the day-to-day grind of life.


JACKSON: You know, with the food and rent going up daily, man, it's becoming a day-to-day hassle just to survive.

JEFFRIES: I could totally envision a parent doing something mundane - right? - making the lunches, brushing their hair, and they're just mouthing the intro to the song.

BERAS: Oh, I like that.

GONZALEZ: And, you know, we could just wait for people to make these videos totally on their own. Like, it's already kind of happening, right? But we could also pay people to make these videos. Like, people would just think, oh, everyone in the world just happens to be making videos using the inflation song - how nice - when, really, people were paid to make them. This happens all the time.

BERAS: There's actually a company called Playlist Push that approaches TikTokers for you. They say 515 bucks can get you up to 10 custom TikToks - probably within a week - that can reach a million people, which is exactly what we needed. Except if we want to be on totally legal ground when it comes to just general advertising on the internet, we would want the TikTokers to disclose that PLANET MONEY Records paid them, which is a problem because Playlist Push very clearly tells its TikTokers you're not allowed to disclose that you got paid to make videos.

GONZALEZ: That's your Playlist Push rule. You are not supposed to disclose that you were paid to make this video.

GEORGE GOODRICH: Typically, that's how we've done it. Yes.

GONZALEZ: George Goodrich is the CEO of Playlist Push. And we tell him, listen, the only way that we would do a Playlist Push TikTok campaign is if people disclose that we paid them.

BERAS: We are journalists, after all.

GONZALEZ: Yeah. Unfortunately, we're, like, real straight-laced around here at NPR (laughter).

GOODRICH: Well, I guess let me ask you this. What's the doomsday scenario for you guys if you run the campaign and you don't say that they were compensated to make the video?

GONZALEZ: We don't know because we're not lawyers, but we don't want to get NPR in any kind of trouble (laughter).

GOODRICH: Yeah. Yeah. Of course. Of course.

GONZALEZ: We're like a - you know, like, they would just...

BERAS: It's a bad look for us.

GONZALEZ: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

BERAS: It's a bad look for us.


GOODRICH: Yeah, fair enough. I totally get where you guys are coming from. You got to check all of those legal boxes.

BERAS: Playlist Push actually made a special exception for us.

GOODRICH: Oh, yeah. I mean, you know, I think the song is cool. The song is very timely.

BERAS: Every TikTok that is made will include sponsored by Planet Money Records in the video itself.

GONZALEZ: And the first person paid by Planet Money through Playlist Push to make a TikTok is this woman with 154,000 followers. She's in gardening gloves, planting some leafy greens, what looks like tomatoes. And she's kind of like, it is too expensive to buy healthy food these days. So let's grow our own. And the "Inflation" song is playing in the background - so creative.

BERAS: She got $50 for this video because it got 80,000 views. Playlist Push pays based on how many views you get.

GONZALEZ: And so now we're just, like, waiting for all the other TikToks to start flowing in.

BERAS: But a month goes by, and only two more people make TikToks.

GOODRICH: I think a lot of it is that really just the, you know, the ad thing. They don't want people to know that they got paid to make the video - right? - at the end of the day.

GONZALEZ: Yeah, influencers literally won't take our money. This, like, by-the-book disclosure thing is really messing things up for us. So I don't know. PLANET MONEY listeners, why don't you make some TikToks for us? Record yourself with your shopping list or whatever and just use Earnest's song in the background.

BERAS: Also, we made some Earnest Jackson merch.

GONZALEZ: We have something to show you.

JACKSON: OK. Oh, yeah, that's a hoodie.

GONZALEZ: Yeah, we got hoodies. We have a Planet Money Records coffee mug, some "Inflation" stickers. They're all, like, neon and have, like, a little '70s feel.

JACKSON: I like the colors, baby. I like the colors. I really dig that hoodie, you know, and the line. Where can I get one (laughter)?

GONZALEZ: And then we show Earnest the big one.

BERAS: This is the thing that I am most excited about.


BERAS: This was, like, my dream from the very beginning.

JACKSON: Well, that looks like me back in the '70s.

BERAS: That is you. This is the jacket for the vinyl that we are releasing of your song. So we're releasing inflation as a little 45.

JACKSON: Oh, really?

GONZALEZ: So this is your album cover.

JACKSON: Oh, love.

BERAS: We are releasing it.

JACKSON: Yes, indeed. I think that's great. I'm happy, baby. I'm happy. That's beautiful.

BERAS: Those vinyl records are for sale now. You can pre-order them on They should arrive in June. Then we tell Earnest this is kind of it for Planet Money Records.

GONZALEZ: You know, this is sort of the end.


GONZALEZ: We've done, I think, everything we can do for right now.

JACKSON: OK, dear. Sounds good.

GONZALEZ: But, yeah, it's been really fun working with you on this.

JACKSON: It really has been. It's been a gas, man. And I love you both, OK?

GONZALEZ: We love you back.

BERAS: And as of this recording, "Inflation" has been streamed about 1.2 million times - over a million. That puts us in the top, like, 1% of songs streamed on Spotify ever. And Earnest probably won't get much more than $2,000 for that.

GONZALEZ: Yeah. And after months of inserting ourselves into the music industry, the kind of heartbreaking thing we've realized is that we probably would have gotten to a million streams even without all the paid promotion we did because we had this one big advantage - you, our PLANET MONEY listeners, and the NPR brand. Companies literally bent the rules for us and gave us way more attention and hand-holding than most unknown artists would ever get.

BERAS: So after the "Inflation" song dropped, Sugar Daddy and the Gumbo Roux and Earnest Jackson released another song. They recorded it the same day, same studio, same group of guys that recorded "Inflation." And that song has gotten just enough streams to earn them each $3.

GONZALEZ: This is the much more common experience for artists.


EARNEST JACKSON AND SUGAR DADDY AND THE GUMBO ROUX: You know, with the food and rent going up there, man, it's becoming a day-to-day hassle just to survive. You see, inflation and taxation has taken over our great nation. (Singing) People stop what you're doing...

BERAS: Today's show was produced by Emma Peaslee and James Sneed. It was edited by Jess Jiang and Sally Helm, fact-checked by Sierra Juarez and engineered by Brian Jarboe. Emily Kinslow managed our record label project.

GONZALEZ: Thank you also to Josh Rogosin for remixing our "Inflation" song, Sasha Fominskaya for our merch, Ashley Benson and Susana Salazar (ph) for figuring out all of our royalty splits and getting all of our artists paid.

BERAS: Thank you to WRKF in Baton Rouge. And thanks to the folks at TuneCore for helping our little indie label. I'm Erika Beras.

GONZALEZ: And I'm Sarah Gonzalez. This is NPR. Thanks for listening.


EARNEST JACKSON AND SUGAR DADDY AND THE GUMBO ROUX: (Singing) A starvation was already in the land, and even then, poor people didn't stand a chance.

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