Fans Try To Save Nelly From IRS By Streaming 287 Million Of His Tracks

How many times will you stream 'Air Force Ones' to #SaveNelly and help him pay back $2.4 million in taxes?

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Sep 13, 2016 at 5:18 PM ET

Things have been better for Nelly. According to TMZ, he’s staring down a $2.4 million bill from the IRS, and reportedly owes another $150,000 in state taxes. But all is not lost for the rapper, as there’s a grassroots effort brewing to lend a hand to the St. Lunatic by streaming his songs as many times as possible.

Spin ran the numbers and found that the key to saving Nelly from the big bad tax man is to stream his songs 287,176,547 times:

[Spotify] recently said that the payout for artists “per stream” lands between $0.006 and $0.0084. At the bare minimum, you’ll have to stream a Nelly joint 402,880,500 times to make a decent dent on his tax issues. If Nelly’s lucky enough to be on the $.0084 end of the royalty spectrum, the best case scenario sees you plugging through 287,176,547 streams.

That is far too many streams for one person to come to Nelly’s rescue via Spotify. But say you play the song he very good song “E.I.” off Nelly’s 2000 solo debut, Country Grammaris about five minutes long. If you play that song all day every day for the next month, you could get up to about 9,000 streams. If you and about 32,000 people do the same thing, then Nelly would be well on his way to financial freedom.

In other words, it’s unlikely that fans will be able to stream Nelly out of this massive tax bill. But people on Twitter are attempting to fight the good fight, and are actively promoting Nelly’s cause under the #SaveNelly hashtag.

And maybe it’s not completely outside the realm of possibility, given that Nelly had two good albums, one decent one, and countless karaoke-worthy singles. (My go-to is “Dilemma” even though Kelly Rowland’s part is a bit outside my range). So if you love Nelly, start streaming, friend. And remember, always pay your taxes.