Independent with like half a billion views on YouTube, you go inter webs! I can't front on a pop sensation that does it independently.
how the fuck does an artist make this on their own?
from Wikipedia :
Ben Haggerty, known by his stage name Macklemore and formerly Professor Macklemore, is an American rapper and musician. He began independently releasing music in 2000 and now collaborates with producer Ryan Lewis, violinist Andrew Joslyn, and trumpeter Owuor Arunga. He has gained a significant online fanbase. He has released one mixtape, three EPs and two albums, although none on a major record label. His single "Thrift Shop" has been viewed on YouTube over 300 million times, and reached number 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart in 2013, selling more than 2.2 million copies. It was the first time since 1994 that a song reached number 1 on the Hot 100 chart without the support of a major record label. His second single, "Can't Hold Us" also peaked at #1 of the Hot 100 Chart, making Macklemore & Ryan Lewis the first duo in the chart's history to have their first two singles both become a #1 single.
Macklemore released his debut studio album The Heist on October 9, 2012, which charted at number 2 on the US Billboard 200 chart.