Last month local hip-hop phenom Chance the Rapper landed on the Billboard charts with his Acid Rap mixtape, which he released for free in April; a "label" called MTC sold 1,000 units, and it landed on Heatseekers at 26 and the R&B/hip-hop chart at 63. MTC's Acid Rap CD is unlicensed, but as Billboard recently explained, Chance faces an uphill battle fighting bootleggers because he remains unsigned:
"Since Chance doesn't have a record deal, he doesn't enjoy the protection of the RIAA. But his mixtapes have generated considerable buzz on the Internet and in the press, enough for a third-party company to see value in manufacturing physical copies and offering them for sale."
The other big roadblock for Chance's camp is the shortage of available info about MTC, other than the fact that its releases are distributed by Houston company 1-Stop Distribution; it's through 1-Stop that the Acid Rap bootleg is available through Amazon and, as I noticed over the weekend, Logan Hardware. "I thought it was on a major label or something," says Logan Hardware co-owner John Ciba. According to Ciba, customers ask for Acid Rap regularly, so he didn't consider the possibility that it was unlicensed when he found it in 1-Stop's catalog. "I ordered it because it was just in a catalog," he says.