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One day, a million YouTube views: Sam Adams does it again

We suppose he'll now be accused of staying up all night and clicking on his own video. But note that in its first day of release, Cambridge rapper SAM ADAMS collected over a million views of his new "Drive Me Crazy" video -- the latest benchmark for a kid who's already stunned the industry by debuting at #1 on the iTunes rap charts and bulldozing the Billboard charts. All accomplished, by the way, without even the scent of hype -- a bona-fide overnight hit built entirely through campus-driven word-of-mouth buzz.

Adams seems to portend something different than the viral blog-hype we've become used to over the past five years. Like Justin Bieber, he's among the early-stage models of social-media stardom -- his fame, bubbling under friend to friend, was invisible to even the bloggers who like to think of themselves as trendsetters. By the time anyone had heard of him, he already had an audience -- and what's more, he'd already connected with that audience in a way that bypassed the need for all the usual middlemen, from record labels and publicists and magazine covers on down to hip-hop bloggers and viral marketing agents. Which may be a good thing: it may once again be possible, as it was before the rise of the internet, to be famous (at least for a little while) before you become ubquitous. 

Adams's next stop? What else? A college tour, followed by a slot on one of the most coveted festivals in his demographic: New Jersey's Bamboozle, where he'll have his name on a bill with Jay-Z, Weezer, and Ke$ha. 

 

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