Nineteen year old Mac Miller has quietly been making a name for himself. Since the release of his first mixtape ‘But My Mackin’ Ain’t Easy’ back in 2007, the kid has dropped five more mixtapes, an EP, and been featured by prestigious hiphop publication XXL Magazine as part of their Freshman Class of 2011. With ‘Frick Park Market’, the first single from his debut album ‘Blue Slide Park’ reaching over four million views in a week, the gifted Pittsburgh rapper is on route to much wider acclaim.
We caught up with Mac Miller in London to talk about the advantages of working hard, ‘Blue Slide Park’, and the excellent Larry Clark film, ‘Kids’.
How does it feel to take your musical craft overseas to London?
This has actually been my dream come true. It’s been a dream of mine since I was a (puts on English accent) ‘wee little boy’. I’ve always wanted to be able to have music take me here and driving past and seeing the line outside and seeing that the shows have sold out is just kinda like….
Shepherds Bush is a pretty good venue to sell out, right?
You’re telling me! I went in there and it looks tight man. It’s just kinda crazy to me. I’m just blessed and thanking whoever there is to thank. Thank you to everyone supporting me out here and thanks for letting me come out here.
What can the UK fans expect from your shows?
Awesomeness! Haha, just like a good time. I mean I like to have a good time on stage and I like to get them involved, so for everyone who’s coming to see me perform, make sure you study up on your lyrics and come and get ready to sing with me.
The other day you tweeted that you’ve been “working your ass off to bring the best experience of an album possible” – how’s the experience going to differ from previous mixtapes?
more after the jump
Urm, it’s just like next level as far as everything from the music, to all the videos, to the process of how we’re releasing it. See, being an independent artist, I can do whatever I want. If we were like sitting here and you had like 50,000 people in line who were down to buy the album, I’d make a phone call and we’d drop it tonight. We’re gonna do something real special to give the fans a good experience of an album and something more than just a simple go and pick it up.
Can you tell us a bit about any of the tracks?
There’s definitely a wide variety. I definitely rap my ass off on this album, these are my hardest bars ever. I think the cool thing about it is, it’s really just a journey and it all kind of makes sense. It’s not all over the place. It starts somewhere, it takes you somewhere and by the end of it you don’t just feel like you’ve been listening to a bunch of songs, you feel like you’ve gone somewhere.
On the mixtape ‘Kids’, you actually sample the film ‘Kids’. What is it about that film that you like so much?
It’s just so raw man! It’s fucked up! But it’s also just very honest, you know. I was probably like one when that movie came out, but a lot of movies about kids, especially at that time period were all like the Disney movies and I thought, man, this isn’t how kids act. When I was eight years old watching movies about kids, I wasn’t like, this is how I act. But then when I watched the movie, I was like, this is some real, straight to the point, honest, interpretation of how kids act.
Which other films would you recommend?
I love movies. I mean, I’m not like a massive movie critic. But I love every movie, no matter what you put on, I’m watching it. But my favourites, definitely ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’, ‘Shawshank Redemption’, ‘How High’… gotta have that one in there. If only everyone knew what I learnt from that movie… I guess it’s pretty self explanatory. ‘Children of Men’, ‘Snatch’, that’s a good movie.
You’ve got the track ‘Wear My Hat’ and a lot of the kids down at the shows are wearing snapbacks, do you have any plans to release your own line of hats for the fans?
Right now I have a snapback that’s a merchandise snapback which says stuff like Mac Miller, Most Dope, you know. I feel like there’s a time for everything and right now I have the connections to do everything and anything as far as going into acting and doing clothing lines but, I’m a musician first. So, I want to master that craft and really get myself to a place where I feel like it’s the right time to do that, but there’s definitely gonna be something in the future because I want to be a three dimensional human being… four dimensional… uh… five dimensional.
You’ve worked your way from the ground up, always working independently. What’s been the best thing about that?
The best thing is that nobody thinks I’m independent which has really been the funniest and the greatest. But also frustrating at times.
Because I work so hard, ridiculously, ridiculously hard and for people to think that I have this major label push behind me, in some ways it’s like, why can’t ya’ll realise that we’re really 100% independent? But on the other hand it’s flattering that people think that the only way this is possible is through a major, when in reality it’s just us. Me and Rostrum and The Agency Group.
On ‘Best Day Ever’ you say that you “never take a day off” – obviously there’s the upsides to that, four million views on ‘Frick Park Market’, but what are the downsides to working so hard?
Downsides, I mean you could probably talk to a bunch of family members who’d say there’s downsides. I mean, I’m never around and I don’t really have any sort of normal in my life anymore. Which is fine, but there’s not really any kind of chill aspect to it as we’re always on the move. Which to me is great and I think it’s really helped to build my character as a person. I dunno, not many downsides. I’d rather be working my ass off than sitting on the couch smoking weed like I used to.
Do you have any last messages for the fans?
‘Blue Slide Park’. ‘Blue Slide Park’. ‘Blue Slide Park’. However you want to get it, you want to buy it, you want to burn it off your friend, just make sure you hear it. Listen to it, five, six, seven times before you say anything.
And when can fans expect ‘Blue Slide Park’ to drop?
In the fall. But it’s gonna be up to ya’ll when it comes out. I’ll explain more about that at a later date. Oh, and the next videos that we’re going to be dropping are going to be crazy too, so ‘Frick Park Market’ was just the beginning.
Have you filmed any of those yet?
Yeah, so when I say hardworking, this is what my past week has been.
On Monday… where were we at Monday Q?
Wait, what day is it today?
I’ll walk you through the past five days:
Five days ago I flew to New York to do all the mastering for the album and got that together. Woke up the next morning from an hour’s sleep at 7. Went and did an early morning radio show and then shot a video from the end of the radio show until around Midnight. Went back, next day, same thing, shot all day until midnight or later. We woke up early at six in the morning to drive out of New York in fear that the hurricane was gonna get us. We made it back to Pittsburgh and then did 15 hour days of shooting videos all up until yesterday when I flew here.
That’s pretty hectic…
It’s great though man, it feels great. I haven’t had time to take it all in.
Are you going to have any time to see the city tonight?
I would love to. But I’m gonna say for real; this is the first time we’ve been able to have a bus, like I can afford a bus now and we’re getting it tonight so I might just party on my bus.