If you take a look at the iTunes listing for Mac Miller’s newest album, Live From Space, you’ll note that the first two entries under “Contemporaries” are Sam Adams and Asher Roth, former frat rappers in arms who first got big off of realizing that drunken college kids wanted to listen to music about being drunken college kids. In that sense, Mac still has a ways to go before he completely sheds the grinning, grating persona that earned a brutal Pitchfork takedown and the enmity of every rap writer over the age of 30.
But pop culture is nothing if not forgiving, and Mac hung around long enough, and did enough drugs, to make his way down the lonely path of self-analysis toward something resembling enlightened. He hoovered up left-field sonic influences and refined his technique, which earned him enthusiastic co-signs from artists like Earl Sweatshirt and Flying Lotus, culminating in a 2013 album, Watching Movies With The Sound Off, that earned legitimate acclaim and helped wipe away some of the disdain for his earlier output.
Today, Live From Space, the 14-song mix of live recordings from The Space Migration Tour and unreleased songs that didn’t make Watching Movies with the Sound Off, is out. On the project, Mac’s backed by his house band Syd tha Kyd and Matt Martians from The Internet.
Noisey: There’s this stereotype that most rappers are better on record than they are in concert, so why do a live album?
Mac Miller: Because I wanted to show that stereotype was one hundred percent true and have both albums, so people would be like, “Okay, word.” [Pauses] That was a joke. But uh, no man, because I love performing and we have a show that’s different and it is good live and there’s maybe a couple songs where you can’t understand what I’m saying, like watching Lil B, because there’s too much screaming, but other than that, it breathes new life into the record.
more from this Noisey interview after the jump