Mac Miller Is A Rapper’s Best Friend
"I’m one of those believers-in-fate type of motherfuckers," says Mac Miller, extolling wisdom to Milk Made on how in just a few short years the now-21-year-old has elevated his status in the hip-hop world in nothing short of a major way. "I’m comfortable, man," he adds. And why shouldn’t he be? With his latest album, June’s Watching Movies with the Sound Off, Miller, whose debut album, 2011’s Blue Slide Park became the first independent LP to hit Number One on the Billboard 200 since Tha Dogg Pound’s Dogg Food, in 1995, not only boosted his profile but more importantly drastically amplified his rap credibility.
Miller’s authority boost though was due in large part to his increasing place at the epicenter of young hip-hop: in the last year the rapper’s Hollywood Hills mansion has become the go-to crash pad/recording spot for some of the game’s most talented young spitters. Since moving to LA in June 2012 -– Miller originally flew to Cali that spring to film an episode of the revamped Punk’d and eventually recorded his mixtape Macadelic –- the MC has formed a close-knit crew of fellow rappers, which includes young hip-hop luminaries such as Odd Future’s Earl Sweatshirt and Tyler, The Creator, and Black Hippy members Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q and Ab-Soul. Miller’s studio, adorned with tranquil red lighting, beanbags and candles, provides something of an escape from the materialistic mayhem of the City of Angels for his friends. "Personally I think the most talented people in music right now are the people coming through my studio," Miller offers.
Him and his counterparts, he adds –- most of which he says first began hanging out as friends before creating music together -– motivate each other to ratchet up their respective skills. "All of us, we’re all making music together, and push each other to do better," he explains. "It just happened," he adds of their eventual desire to collaborate. "I didn’t really expect it." In fact, much of Earl’s recent album, Doris, was recorded at Miller’s studio, and Schoolboy Q’s highly anticipated forthcoming debut LP, while not confirmed to be recorded at Miller’s studio, has been touted by the MC as even one-upping Lamar’s game-changing good kid, m.A.A.d City.
This summer, Miller and his crew of hip-hop homie’s friendship was on prominent display via the "Space Migration Tour." The nationwide jaunt hit 38 cities nationwide, and featured Miller and Earl, as well as fellow hot talents Chance the Rapper and Action Bronson. "It was my favorite tour," Miller declares without hesitation. "The coolest thing about it is we all have our different fans and different come-ups and fan bases. We’ve always been curious how that would work if we got together. And the tour really showed that it does. Fans of me are fans of Earl and vice-versa. It worked out awesome."
But Miller isn’t resting on him or his friends’ ever-increasing fame: the red-bearded rapper is set to hit Europe with Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz for a sure-to-be-manic tour later this month; he’s also begun filming the second season of his hit MTV2 reality series, Mac Miller and the Most Dope Family. "I’m excited to do whatever’s next," the rising star concludes. "Let’s see where the path goes."
Photo by Ian Wolfson