Over head-bopping beats, 19-year-old rapper Mac Miller cleverly breaks down the life of your average cool kid living in the U.S.A. with fun-loving indiscretion and a middle finger in the air.
Averaging at least ten million views per video on YouTube, Mac has built an immense following of suburbanite snap-back-hat-wearing teenagers who easily relate to his tunes about frozen pizza, sneakers and ditching class. His musical career started with piano lessons at the age of six, followed by a variety of other instruments before rapping and freestyling took hold of his heart. Now fresh out of high school and living life on the road, he puts it simply, “I make music about what’s going on in my life. When I was finishing up school, all the music I was making was about that. And now I’m on the road, a lot of my music is inspired by that”. Citing A Tribe Called Quest, Outkast, The Beatles and even Oasis as a few of his influences and under the wing of his mentor and fellow Pittsburgh native Wiz Khalifa, this kid is ready to blow. Appearing on the cover of hip-hop mag XXL’s coveted ‘Freshman Issue’ earlier this year along with other emerging stars Big K.R.I.T., Yelawolf and Lil’ B, Mac Miller is on his way. Currently working on his next album, recently revealed to be titled Blue Slide Park (in homage to his hometown hangout) i-D online chatted it up with the lad during his visit to Toronto…
What do you like to do aside from making music? I like to play basketball but that’s it. I like to make music, that’s all I do. So when I’m not making music I like playing basketball and eating sushi.
You’ve had a few pretty great music videos out already even before releasing a studio album. How important are music videos for you? Very important. I think it’s a great tool for fans to be able to see me and what I’m all about and also something entertaining to go along with the music and it helps express the music a lot better as well as get it out there because people are more likely to click ‘play’ and watch a video than they are to download a whole mixtape.
How do you think you’ve managed to get so many views on YouTube? I don’t know. I couldn’t tell you. We’ve been promoting my music since I was 15 years old and going hard with it so the numbers just built and grew and multiplied but I couldn’t put my finger on the exact reason.
Who else do you think is on the up right now? A variety of artists. I like Odd Future. I like my homey Casey Veggies, I like Big K.R.I.T., everyone that was on the freshman cover (XXL magazine) with me. And there are a few people from Pittsburgh like The 58s. There are a lot of people making good music right now.
Who would you love to work with? I want to work with all different types of musicians. I’d like to work with everyone from Adam Levine from Maroon 5, to CeeLo to Waka Flocka. Everybody.
What’s your connection to Wiz Khalifa? We’re both from Pittsburgh and we’re both signed to Rostrum. He’s like my fam and we have more of a relationship outside of music than inside it. Within music we’re separate artists but outside of it, he’s just my homie.
Any plans to work on anything with Wiz in the future? We made some music and I think we’ll make some more in the future, but for the most part I think we’re going to try and work on our own careers. He has his path and I want to carve my own.
What do you hope to achieve before the end of the year? I want to have a successful tour in the fall and have a successful album and be able to perform everywhere and go to the UK. I want to go overseas and perform out there. I just hope that by the end of the yeareverything is still growing.
Photography: Kevin Marzo