If you haven’t heard of rapper Mac Miller yet, you may soon.
The 19-year-old Pittsburgh rapper reached No. 1 with his debut album, “Blue Slide Park,” with sales of 144,487 its first week out.
What makes his success even more remarkable is the fact that his album is being distributed independently, without the help of a major label. The last independently distributed debut album to open in the top spot was Tha Dogg Pound’s “Dogg Food” in 1995, according to Billboard.
“It’s crazy. I’ve been trying to take it all in,” Miller told MTV during a break on his tour. “I’ve just been in constant motion, so I haven’t gotten a chance to really stop and realize how crazy this is that we got the first No. 1 in 16 years. It’s nuts, man.”
Miller, whose real name is Malcolm McCormick, broke out in 2010 when he signed with indy label Rostrum Records. According to Rostrum, 76 percent of the album’s sales have been digital. Fans have also been buying the CDs, distributed by Fontana, which is owned by the Universal Music Group, in stores.
But it’s Miller’s decision to stick with his independent label, even when the majors came calling, that has paid off.
“The fact that I got a No. 1 album on my first try independently is just something that no one could ever take away from me,” Miller told MTV. “I had fans tweeting me with pictures of nine albums that they bought.”