Jews and hip-hop. Historically, this was a combination that mostly worked behind closed doors. Jews played an important part in the development of hip-hop and rap, from Tom Silverman who founded Tommy Boy Records, and introduced the world to De La Soul, House of Pain, Naughty by Nature, Queen Latifah and many other hugely successful rappers, to Rick Rubin, one of the most highly regarded producers who has worked with the likes of the Beastie Boys, Run DMC, Jay-Z and others.
But when it came to Jews on the mic, the list was small. You can count on one hand those who were successful, and three of those fingers belong to the Beastie Boys.
But recently things have changed. First there was Drake, a local Canadian boy who took the world by storm. First an actor, he quickly became one of the biggest recording artist in the world with his debut album, Thank Me Later.
And now we have Mac Miller (Malcom McCormick). Fresh out of high school, the 19 year-old rap phenomenon out of Pittsburgh has quickly built a name for himself as the biggest up-and-coming rap artist in the world. Signed to Rostrum Records, Mac’s first mixtape, titled K.I.D.S., was released in August 2010 and featured the way too addictive, “Knock Knock” and the YouTube hit, “Nikes On My Feet”, which has received over 5 million views.
Mac’s style is a throwback vibe, a mix of a Tribe Called Quest, Beastie Boys and De La Soul. Addictive beats, tight rhymes, and an artist who doesn’t take himself too seriously. He knows he’s young and he’s playing with it, and that’s what the fans love.
Shalom Life recently had a chance to interview Mac Miller and talk about his new album, favorite Jewish food, and making a Hanukkah song with Drake: