When Macklemore & Ryan Lewis's The Heist debuted at #2 on the Billboard albums chart last year, people were surprised. When "Thrift Shop" went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in early 2013 — just the second time an independent song had ever reached the top spot in chart history — people were shocked. And when "Can't Hold Us" went to #1, then held on for six-straight weeks ... well, there really wasn't anything left to say.
After all, at this point, it's not exactly news that Mack & Lew have achieved monumental success without the help of a major label; but what is noteworthy is the fact that they have no plans of changing their independent ways any time soon ... no matter how often the majors come calling these days.
"There's been interest from everyone; I'm not going to say names, but there's been a lot of flattering feedback in terms of what we've been doing," Macklemore told MTV News. "Any time there's a group going against the grain, there's going to be people that are like 'Wow, you did it by yourself.' In 2012, that's impressive ... we talk to a lot of labels, had some great conversations [but] right now, we're doing it ourselves; and that's what makes the most sense with this project."
And Macklemore & Lewis's independent status makes them the perfect poster children for MTV's July 4 Music Independence Day Blow Out, a 12-hour celebration of music from superstars and emerging artists alike. From 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on MTV, VH1 and CMT, you can watch all your favorite videos — in between celebrating our nation's birth/blowing stuff up. For more information, check out the MTV Music Independence Day Takeover official site!
MTV's celebration will include a block party of music hosted by artists that will feature eclectic genres and themes while spotlighting independent artists that have emerged from Artists.MTV as well as themed video hours, intimate performances and some of the bigger music moments throughout MTV history.
Oh, and if you're an emerging artist looking to replicate Macklemore & Ryan Lewis's historical success, well, the dynamic duo have some advice for you: namely, work your ass off. It's the indie way.
"It comes down to building a fanbase yourself, and that takes time. People connected with us before MTV knew who we were, before XXL knew who we were," Macklemore said. "If the people mess with you, then over time the media has to come to you ... and then all of a sudden the floodgates open. But the work has already been done, it was something that happened organically, it was us building a fanbase that connected on a personal level with our music."