An independent artist who wants to hear his or her song on the radio has two choices: sign a major label recording contract or spend close to one million dollars on a budget for a radio campaign. It's really that simple.
As we've come to learn over the past year, however, Chance The Rapper is not your average independent artist. In less than 12 months, the Chicago superstar has defied every expectation known to man, grabbing major sponsors for a festival in his hometown, performing on daytime TV, performing at award shows, and earning a Top 10 position for his Coloring Book mixtape, despite the project only being available for stream.
It should come as no surprise then, that Chance now has the No. 1 record in the country on the Urban Top 30 Airplay chart.
According to Mediabase, which tracks the top-rated songs being played at radio stations and their rank each week, Chance's Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz-assisted "No Problem" moved up one spot this week, bumping D.R.A.M.'s "Broccoli" out of the top spot (and down to fourth) and earning the independent emcee his first No. 1 song. Rounding out the top three spots are YFN Lucci's "Key To The Streets" and Beyonce's "Hold Up."
While many independent artists have tapped into major label resources in order to achieve radio success, like when Macklemore and Ryan Lewis hired Warner Music Group's Alternative Distribution Alliance shortly after they released The Heist, Chance saw success through his game-changing Rapper Radio movement and the efforts of Michael Kadziulis, his in-house radio promotions director. We reached out to Kadziulis for comment but did not hear back.
Earning a No. 1 record at radio as an indie? No problem, indeed.