After touring overseas, 19-year-old Pittsburgh MC Mac Miller made a return to the States with a back to school performance at the University of Maryland. The show, which sold out less than five minutes after the tickets released online, was packed to the brim with eager, young fans. As we inch closer to the release of Blue Slide Park, Bark + Bite was able to catch up with Mac Miller himself and get an update on one of hip hop's most promising rising stars.
Q:You've been touring all over what's your favorite spot that you've been so far?
A: Bein' in Europe was pretty wild. Being able to go over there and have people that don't have English as their first language like sing along and shit. So bein' all over Europe was awesome and performin' in the [Pitts]burgh is always great to be performing at home. I like everywhere, like we go everywhere man. We don't just hit like New York and LA and shit, we do like fucking Wyoming. They all go crazy over there too. *laughs*
Q:You have managed to build a massive following, yet you have done all of this without a major label. Can you explain what has made you choose the independent route?
A:When I was younger, that was always my dream to be signed to a major. I thought that was the way. As I got older — I'm still young — but the older I got and the more into it I got, we kinda created our own shit and built it up to like where we're doing things that a lot of major label cats aren't doing. So you know at this point it's kinda like why stop that? And we'll see where it goes.
Q:Being from Pittsburgh, you have been able to see Wiz Khalifa go from underground success to the major star he is today. Now that you are reaching similar success, what is the relationship like between you two?
A:He's just the homie, man. A lot of people always get the feeling that there is some sort of business between us or he signed me or something. Obviously, that's the big homie and shit and we've always kicked it but we just chill and have fun. We just made some new music together that's real dope. We both are always real busy and shit so we dont get to chill that much anymore but I got some time off so I went to kick it with him on tour- *stops turns towards wall facing stage as Casey Veggies begins to perform "Loved Then Alone"* This is my favorite Casey Veggies song. But, yeah! So I just went and kicked it and we just been chillin' man. He's always family.
Q:Your album is named Blue Slide Park (an homage to a childhood park in his hometown) why was it important to shout out your hometown? And where did you record the album?
A:The whole thing like when I got off tour they [Rostrum Records] asked me where I wanted to record the album, if I wanted to go to New York or if I wanted to go to LA. I could've gone, like they were tryna — Benjy [Grinberg] and Rostrum — were like, "Yo we should go record in fuckin' London for the album." Crazy shit like that, but I was like "F**k all that, just bring me back to Pittsburgh. Let me just go to the same studio I've gone to my whole life and just do it like we've always done." That was kinda the basis for the album, as much as I've made some great friends throughout the way and friends that are very successful like a Just Blaze or a DJ Premier people like this I could get on the album. For me it was like I wanted to make this album with the people that f**ked with me when no one else did. That's just what it's about man. It's not only about me it's about all my homies who were there from the beginning so I want them to not feel like pushed out of the process now that it's more important.
Q:Moving away from the Blue Slide Park the album, what can you sayabout the "Meadows" behind the actual blue slide park?
A:*Laughs* Meadows was like a place where they threw crazy parties every night at [Taylor allder]dice. And the cops always came. See, blue slide park was the place we all grew up at playing baseball and going to the park or whatever. But if you went further back there was this place called the meadows where they threw parties at night and everyone from [Taylor Allder] dice rolled through. Wiz[Khalifa] used to roll there every now and then back in the day, meadows was the spot that if you went to dice that's where you went to drink and mack on bitches. But the cops would always come right before you got to f**k. You'd set it up like, "Yeah! I'm bout to hit this tonight!" Then... *Makes cop siren noise*
Q:Did you ever have to sprint to get away?
A:Yeah we would just run into the woods and dove and hid. Just had to get our asses out of there.
Q:There is also something about a Shell gas station around the way that is the best for purchasing blunts. Were you a frequent customer?
A:I mean the shell gas station has been selling me blunts since I was like twelve. That's why we love Shell gas station. Me and TreeJ used to wake up every single day in the summer and walk our asses. We would go around my house and try to find as much change as we could to get ten dollars. Go to the Shell buy a pack of Newports, two swishers and two Arizona iced teas. That was just like the breakfast of champions.
Q:Now moving forward to present day, rumor has it that you will be featured on the "Moves Like Jagger" remix. What was it like to have Maroon 5 reach out to you and work on the song?
A:It was just crazy. I kinda didn't believe it. The producer [Benny Blanco] hit me up and was like. "Yo, Maroon 5 wants you on the "Moves like Jagger" remix." And I was like, "Maroon 5? Yeah right, bro." Then they brought me into the studio and I did it, dropped it. And while I was writing it, the video actually came on [be]cause it's a popular song. So then we did it and I hit Adam [Levine] up and was like "Yo, I appreciate the opportunity that shit is dope." And he was like, "Man thank you, you killed that shit'. So I was happy that they f**ked with it.
Q:What does it feel like to be this young and have so much ahead of you?
A: The one thing that I'm blessed about is a lot of people my age are trying to figure out what they are doing. Whether they are in school and randomly decide junior year of college that they dont like their major anymore. Or whatever the case may be or if you have a job that you're sick of. I'm just blessed that I really know what I want to do and I'm doing it. Whether I would be this successful or still grinding putting out music like at least I know what the f**k I'm doing.
Check out "Smile Back," the latest video from Mac's album Blue Slide Park