Mac Miller is gearing up for one heck of a 2013. Since dropping his championed debut Blue Slide Park back in 2011, the first independent debut album to chart No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart since Tha Dogg Pound’sDogg Food, the Pittsburgh native has gone to become one of the game’s most successful MCs. His fan-favorited Macadelic mixtape, which dropped last year, was hailed as one of the year’s best projects, highlighted by features from Kendrick Lamar, Cam’ron, Lil Wayne and more. He also caught another W as alter-ego Larry Lovestein, with the release of the jazz-infused You EP, which topped iTunes on the night of it’s release.
Aside from prepping his highly anticipated sophomore album’s release (Watching Movies With the Sounds Off), along with a long list of others (92 Till Infinity, Pink Slime, work on Vince Staples’ Tales of A Stolen Youth EP, etc.), Mac is also gearing up for the premiere of his new MTV2 reality show, Mac Miller and the Most Dope Family. Set to premiere tonight (February 26), XXL caught up with the former Freshman to discuss the new reality show and more. —Ralph Bristout (@RalphieBlackmon)
What’s up man—you’ve got a lot going on.
I’ve been chillin’, just workin. I’m at the crib right now, I’ve got a studio at the crib so I’ve just been making a bunch of music. Casey [Veggies] is over here right now, we just made this joint that I did the beat to. That’s pretty crazy.
I spoke to Big Jerm a little while back and he mentioned how fully invested you are with producing right now.
Yeah, the producing shit is real, it’s very real. It’s a whole other journey, man. It’s been tight though—I’ve got this production project with Vince Staples doing all the raps and I’m doing all the beats, which is dropping soon. That shit’s about to be crazy.
What made you decide to go this route?
When I was younger, on my old mixtapes, I made some beats—just little shits on the keyboard. But I didn’t know what I was doing. I could play, but I didn’t really understand the essence of making a beat. So I was just playing shit, and some of the beats were alright. I’ve got some gems from back in the day. People don’t know that the beat “Cruise Control,” which was one of two joints that Wiz and I got together on, the first one—I made that beat. But this is way back in the day, so I never really took it seriously. Because I had E and Jerm, there was no reason for me to step into production, when I’ve got [them] who could just do it iller. So, then I came out here and I’ve been going fuckin’ wild with the beats dude. It’s like if you’ve been fuckin’ bitches for a while and then you just take off this one chick’s clothes and she’s just got this wild pussy that you didn’t even know existed so, you just decide to only fuck chicks with that pussy now. [Laughs] I’m excited [about the project with Vinnie]. It’s gonna be dope. It’s gonna throw people off. If they’re listening ready for Blue Slide Park, then it’s gonna throw them off—which is a good thing. Confusion is always nice. But it’s gonna be something very new. If you were a fan of Macadelic and you want to see that grow into something more and evolve, then that’s kind of where it’s at right now. It’s evolving from there.
You’ve got this new show coming out—were you a reality-show buff before?
Fuck no. Being real, I don’t like reality shows. When they first hit me up to do a TV show, we were trying to come up with ideas of different things that we could do, just different types of TV shows or whatever. Then we just kind of thought, “Hey—I’m about to do my album, it might be good to show people the rise of the album, the evolution of it.” So we started doing that, but then it was the kind of thing where we don’t want to just sit here and fuckin’ make music on camera all day and just give away all of our secrets. Let’s just have some fun with it. So we kind of got more comfortable with the cameras and started just kind of cutting up and being weird. Reality shows are weird because you’ve gotta be real and I can’t really act real—you know? If I’m doing something for a camera it’s gotta be some that’s super extra’d out, or just very weird and awkward. So we just went super extra’d out.
Speaking of super extra’d out, the commercial for the show is pretty dope.
That’s exactly what I said—for real. I was literally sitting there filming, and then they were like, ‘Hey, we just whipped up this trailer, you want to check it out?’ They showed it to me and I was like, ‘Oh, shit. Whatever you guys do with the show, it better be crazy because this shit looks like we’re about to introduce the most epic TV show ever.’’
Tell me about the show.
It’s tight because it’s something new for everybody. We just moved out here [in L.A.] in June, and so it’s just kind of us getting adjusted to the surroundings and the show. For instance, I sit in the studio all day every day—that’s all I do. I work on music with different people all day, right? So this show kind of forced me to get the fuck out of the studio and then I kind of got to see things in L.A. or in California that I wouldn’t have done if we weren’t doing a show. So it’s pretty tight.
I heard your recent birthday celebration out in Vegas is going to be featured on an episode.
Here’s the thing about that, bro. I’m sure they’re gonna cut it together and it’s gonna be tight, but the thing is, everything that happened in Vegas, there is no way we can put it on MTV. MTV2 had a time limit, like at a certain time they put the cameras away and left and we really turned up [laughs]. But it still shows. It’s tight man. I don’t want to give anything away, I guess that’s what you’re supposed to do when you have a TV show. If I didn’t have a TV show, I would just tell you some things that went on, but it’s really tight to bring in 21 with that much of a “shit—we’re really out here balling.”
Tell me about your Most Dope crew; they have a role on the show as well.
All the homies are a part of it, they all live with me so it’s about all of us. With Remember Music, which is the label that Q and I are doing, you get to meet some of the artists. I’m about to go and check it out in the editing room tomorrow and really go look at it, but it should be cool. I was really nervous about it. I was like, “Fuck—we’re gonna have some wack ass show and its gonna be corny.” But nah. I think it’s pretty tight.
Can we expect a Larry Lovestein appearance?
Yeah. We actually did a jazz show where there’s a Larry Lovestein show. It’s crazy. You really get to see how that goes down. We have some fun with it. That’s what it’s all about, man. It’s all about using different tools to explain what all is going on. I don’t know if people really know what goes into what we do, you know? I think everyone will get it though. MTV is very excited about it. It’s cool to have people that know what a successful TV show is be so amped. They’re getting us involved in all this other promo shit—they really want to make it big. So it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.
It’s about to be two years since your last album. What can fans expect from your upcoming Watching Moves With the Sounds Off?
I’ve been chillin for the most part of 2012, man. I’ve been touring and I’ve really been building. I’ve realized that in the game you kind of have these moments where everybody’s talking about you for a second and then you kind of chill in the back, and what you do during that time is probably what makes your next move, and this whole time, I’ve been fuckin’ working on the craziest shit ever. I’m not saying it’s the craziest shit that ever existed, but for me personally, in my life, this shit I’ve been working on is just genuine music.