In light of Independence Day, the one true celebration of American ingenuity, innovation, and supremacy, HipHopDX.com decided to compose a list filled with those three things, but within a more specific niche: Hip-Hop. Nothing speaks more to ingenuity and innovation quite like starting an independent record label from scratch, with your own money, sweat, tears, and even a little hope.

Thursday HipHopDX released this very list entitled Independent’s day: 10 Explosive Independent Hip Hop Labels. The list contains the 10 independent record labels that have succeeded in a world dominated by major music labels with more money, man power, and connections than their independent counterparts.

“It’s the American dream incarnate. Independently run labels battling against the money, connections, and manpower of the major label system and somehow finding a way to win.”

Some well known, recognizable mainstream artists mentioned in this list include Strange Music, along with marquee artist Tech N9ne who’s project Something Else reached number 4 on the Billboard Top 200 list.

Also mentioned in this list of independent labels are two that don’t particularly stick closely to the typical formula for mainstream success. The two I am referring to carry an openly Christian vision. The two independent labels that have redefined the formula for success are Reach Records out of Atlanta, Georgia and Humble Beast Records out of Portland, Oregon, which has even made a commitment to make all of their music available to fans for free.

Despite the challenges and hurdles that come with being independent, both labels have gained mainstream recognition. Reach Records artists Andy Mineo, KB, and Tedashii have reached #2, #4, #17 on the Billboard Rap Album charts respectively. Humble Beast artist Propaganda has also reached #55 on the Billboard 200 charts, and #8 on the Rap Albums charts with his newest project Crimson Chord.

Austin is a junior at the University of Missouri – Columbia school of journalism. Journalism and Christian Hip-Hop are two of Austin’s strong passions, and his long-term aspirations are to pursue radio broadcast journalism and eventually create the first Christian Hip-Hop radio station in his hometown of Kansas City. Follow Austin on Twitter