Earlier this month, Mike Stud's latest project, Closer, debuted at No. 14 on the Billboard 200. Though the Rhode Island native is independent, and has gained his following over the last few years by frequently dropping music online and touring, he did have some help from music industry vets Lyor Cohen, Kevin Liles and Todd Moscowitz -- and their newly formed venture, 300 Entertainment -- for the digital release.
"It's been so last minute," Stud told MTV News of his partnering with the label. "I made the whole album and [my manager] Austin Rosen went and just played the records for them. And Lyor and Kevin and Todd Moscowitz are all very heavily involved now. I think things might change very soon. I think we might do the radio thing."
300 was launched in 2013, with the goal of being a label for music's current climate -- something apparent in a partnership they struck with Twitter earlier this year -- and has since partnered with artists including Young Thug and Migos. “Our whole desire is to find talent and help shepherd them along, and bring them to the world in a highly respectful and very powerful way,” Cohen recently told Forbes.
Still, despite the heavy hitters in his corner, the rapper has no intentions of switching up what got him here. "I'm not relying or depending or banking on any of that," he said. "I'm ready to keep building. Everything we've done is so steady and that's what I've really enjoyed, is just the steady climb that we're on. Nothing's gone super viral; I haven't been on radio, it's just been a building thing."
While the relationships are still new, the 25-year-old has been spending time with the executives of late.
"They all came to Boston...and they saw all the fans and they really are buying into the whole thing," he said. "They really love the records. We went around all day with Lyor. He took us everywhere we needed to go. It's cool to be independent but kind of have that machine behind you."
And though the grind doesn't stop for Stud, who is currently on a nationwide headlining tour, it's nice to know guys who have been instrumental in the careers of some of music's biggest names are in your corner.
"It's an honor to have them be around and be supporting it."