Eight months after launching 300 Entertainment, principals Lyor Cohen, Todd Moscowitz and Kevin Liles are toasting their first No. 1 album: Closer by 25-year-old Mike Stud.
The college baseball pitcher-turned-rapper surprised chart-watchers when he topped Billboard’s Rap Albums tally in the issue dated July 26 with 15,000 in first-week sales, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Equally impressive: Stud’s out-of-nowhere debut, released by Electric Feel Records and distributed via 300/WEA/Atlantic, came without the benefit of a costly radio campaign, because the deal closed so quickly and there was only limited time for a run-up to the album's July 7 release. Instead, Closer was powered by the title track’s 300,000 YouTube views, a Pandora pre-release album stream, and the 33-city The #StudSummer Tour, which kicked off on July 10.