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Seattle-born rapper Macklemore is making headlines recently for various reasons; he’s a white rapper who seemed to burst onto the scene out of nowhere, instantaneously went viral with his unorthodox pro-gay rights video for “Same Love,” and, perhaps above all, his (slightly ridiculous) hit “Thrift Shop” is the #1 song in America. And, basically, all over the world.
But what’s most interesting about Macklemore is that he has absolutely no major record label behind him. In actuality, he releases his music on his own record label, Macklemore LLC.
So, Macklemore isn’t just making money – he’s making MONEY. Without a major record label sucking up all the profits, they go straight into his own pockets. According to Billboard.com, “Thrift Shop” has sold over 2.2 million digital copies, with the music video accruing over 80 million views.
Pretty astounding for a self-released record, especially in 2013.
Could independent labels be the way of the future for popular music? Could the power of Youtube and other social media platforms be enough to propel artists into the spotlight without a major corporation marketing and distributing them? If Macklemore’s success is any indication, the music industry as we know it might be in trouble in years to come.