Major Problems: @Macklamore and @RyanLewis Are The Latest Indie Act To Show That You Don’t Need A Machine To Move Units.

| October 18, 2012 | 0 Comments

Last week, Seattle Washington hip-hop duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis debuted #2 on the Billboard Top 100 clocking in with 78,000 units sold of their album “The Heist.” Now, that number isn’t that impressive overall, but considering that this is an independent outfit, the close to 8ok units sold is a huge feat. The duo ducked signing with a major label, opting to go with Alternative Distribution Alliance to distribute the album. That is looking like a great move right now. The same week they dropped “The Heist,” Bad Boy/Interscope artist Machine Gun Kelly dropped his debut album “Lace Up” MGK’s freshman disc came in with just over 55k units sold. This is with a gold plaque under his belt for his single “Wild Boy” and the Bad Boy/Interscope machine behind his release.

Is it safe to say that an artist today doesn’t need the help of a major label machine behind them? Macklemore and Ryan Lewis aren’t the only indie that’s posted solid indie numbers in record sales minus a major label.

Last November, indie fan favorite Mac Miller dropped his album “Blue Slide Park.” Mac was already a heavyweight online after dropping a slew of free mixtapes including the critically acclaimed “Best Day Ever,” before the release of “Blue Slide Park.” When the album was released for sale, Mac claimed the #1 spot on Billboard, moving over 140k units first week. Mac would become the first indie album to debut #1 since The Dogg Pounds “Dogg Food” pulled it off in 1995. Taking the route of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Mac dropped “Blue Slide Park” with his indie home Rostrum Records (also home to Wiz Khalifa) and distributed through Fontana distribution as oppose to taking a deal with Atlantic or another label.

Compare these two releases with the release of major label act like Big Sean. Sean who’s widely considered a hip-hop superstar struggled to move units when it comes to actual record sales. His last album “Finally Famous” was released with much fan fare and a big promotional push from his label G.O.O.D music and a big single featuring his boss, Kayne West. Yet when the album dropped, it moves 83,ooo copies. Solid, but it pales in comparison to what Macklemore, Mac Miller and other indie acts like Odd Future and Currensy have sold with less promotion and radio behind them.

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So why are so many artists still hoping for that major label deal? What is the draw for indie artist to choose signing with a major versus going the independent route? Lets hope that the more examples of indie acts that make a major impact on their own will give other acts the power to try it themselves.

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