With the advancement in technology there's never been a more exciting time to be an independent artist like now. While there are still some valid reason to look for a label there have been some successful musicians all around the world that have given record labels the middle finger.
Below is a list of hiphop musicians that have given labels the middle finger. In no particular order:
1. Chance The Rapper
Arguably leading the pack in terms of the ultimate independent hustle is Chance The Rapper. Chance has achieved some things that signed artist could ever dream of.
Bagging three grammies, a few BET awards and being nominated a plenty more, Chance's hustles easily rivals, if not surpasses many signed acts. All this done while keeping his freedom for labels. He gets to keep his creative freedom too which is something that grills most signed acts.
2. Tech N9ne
While I'm not an avid Tech N9ne listener, Tech N9ne has been in the game forever. Being able to say you make a living off of music for as long as he as is an achievement in itself.
Now I'm not talk about just making ends meet but I'm talking making it onto Forbe's Hiphop Cash Kings List. This list features a lot of big names such as Dre, Puffy, Birdman and Weezy. So he isn't playing games. I think his work ethic must be ultra high and consist.
3. Cassper Nyovest
Arguably the biggest hiphop artist in South Africa...EVER! Cassper has navigated the South African market like a boss.
His achievements are financial to legacy related. He's gone platinum several times, he's filled up multiple venues such as the Dome, Orlando Stadium and even the FNB stadium as a headlining act. He also has two bentleys. He may be the richest hiphop act in South Africa. So it's possible in South Africa too.
Another independent artist that has made amazing ground in terms of sales is Macklemore. When it comes to sales Macklemore is part of the elite group of the "newer"rappers that have gone platinum in the states.
He' also won some grammies, four to be exact. He did this with Ryan Lewis, the brains behind production (most of the time). Talk about a power combo. I like how Ryan Lewis included in the song and not just given production (hidden) credit.
5. The Migos
In terms of an independent music crew, Migos has to be among the most impressive work ethic. Dropping mixtape after mixtape, Migos was bound to make a single or few that would stick.
They've broken into Billboard Hot 100 no fewer than three times and "Bad n Boujee" topped that chart. Migos also have won BET awards.
The purpose of this post is to highlight the fact that you don't really need to be signed to a label to achieve great success. What I didn't mention in all of these acts is that all of them have an insane work ethic. They live, eat and breath there craft in one way or another. Granted, they definitely don't do it all by themselves and have teams but it's possible.
Lastly, if you feel like adding artists to the conversation, add it in the comment section. I'd really like to hear from you. Let's connect on instagram @skillmusicsa
Until next time,