Kanye West is back on the US Billboard's top 20 singles list, but it isn't for a new song.
One of the rapper's eight-year-old tracks, Gone, has soared up the chart thanks to its use on a popular viral video in which a woman quits her job.
When Marina Shifrin, 25, quit her job at Next Media Animation, she certainly didn't know she would be sending West's 2005 tune back to the top 20. But the rapper is the latest beneficiary of Billboard's new rules, which incorporate YouTube views into its calculation of the singles chart.
Shifrin used West's song as the soundtrack for her whimsical, self-produced video - an "interpretive dance" where she bids farewell to "a boss [who values] quantity, speed and [page]views" over "the quality of [a video's] content". Earlier this month, the New York comedienne's choreography went suddenly viral: today, the two-minute clip has been watched more than 15m times.
Even though Shifrin's film wasn't an official video for Gone, Billboard's new rules sort of treat it like one: by racking up that many views, Gone has climbed to No 18, currently higher than any song from West's most recent album, Yeezus. Like this summer's videos using Harlem Shake, which sent Baauer's song to number one, it doesn't matter that people are tuning in for something other than the music, for Billboard, a play is a play.
At this rate, Gone may just be getting started. Fuelled by Shifrin's TV appearances and even a new job offer, her video is still zipping around the internet. Her former workplace has published a response - again using West's song - and the video format has been mimicked by amateur film-makers from Barcelona to Bangalore. Perhaps West needs to get in touch with Shifrin to see what she can do with Bound 2. That track - the latest Yeezus single - peaked at No55.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010
image: © Renan Facciolo