When Mac Miller and I get on the phone, he’s walking in to his brand new house in Los Angeles. Miller, who turns 22 next month, is finally looking forward to some time to relax after a whirlwind year which included two albums—June’s Watching Movies With The Sound Off, his well-received sophomore album on Rostrum Records, and his new live album Live From Space, out today (Dec. 17) with five brand new songs from the WMWTSO sessions—a national tour with Earl Sweatshirt, Action Bronson and Chance The Rapper and a European tour with Lil Wayne. But it’s not going to be as simple as just kicking back and chilling out: Mac Miller’s got a new responsibility these days.
“I got some dogs to raise,” he says, clearly a little distracted by the phone call. “They crazy ass terrier poodles. My dog actually is just figuring out that I make music, it’s a beautiful thing.”
Miller’s been off tour since the end of October, right around the time he got his now-four-month-old pups, who he’s only had for a few weeks. “It’s wild though, from the first day I brought [Ralph] home he’s just been following me everywhere, like I don’t even need a leash,” he says, before laughing and joking about how adorable that image is. “Mac Miller and a dog. It gets me chicks.”
He may seem like he’s all grown up—he’s a homeowner and a doggfather now after all, having left behind his Pittsburgh roots for an L.A. adult life—but Mac Miller can still be the random, off-the-wall goofball he’s been since he got his first look into the industry with 2010′s K.I.D.S. mixtape. When asked about when he started thinking about putting out a live album, something almost unheard-of in hip-hop, his response was typically all over the place: “I wanted to do a live album for a long time. Holy shit, in other news, I just opened up these cookies, and they’re gingerbread sheet cake. This is about to be wild. Okay, so, alright. Okay. Um, yeah. The live album is something I’ve always wanted to do.” Later in our conversation, he took his dog for a walk, stopping mid-answer to ask the pup whether or not he was going to poop in his neighbor’s driveway or if they should keep walking. “Bro, make the decision,” he says to him. “Don’t eat a plant.”
With Live From Space with his buddies/backing band The Internet officially out today, XXL asked Mac about his upcoming collaboration with Pharrell, his new track with Future, and what it all means for 2014. —Dan Rys (@danrys)
XXL: How’s it going?
Mac Miller: It’s good, man, I just got home, I just walked into my house and my dogs are here, so it’s a good start to the day.
The last time we spoke you were in England about to go out on tour with Lil Wayne. How’d it go?
It was fuckin’ horrible, man, and I hated it, and I hate everyone there, I hate everyone. [Laughs] Nah, dude, it was amazing, man. They’re great people. The tour was awesome; I’m so used to Mac Miller tours where everyone is there to see you, that to go and do something where a lot of people don’t know who you are was just surprisingly very fun for me and refreshing. It has more to do with just raw talent, it’s not like, ‘Hey everyone, go crazy ’cause you know my song!’ It’s like, put on a good performance and they’ll respond. I got a lot of great reactions, and had a lot of fun.
When did you get the idea to come out with a live album before the end of the year?
I wanted to do a live album for a long time. Holy shit, in other news, I just opened up these cookies, and they’re gingerbread sheet cake. This is about to be wild. Okay, so, alright. Okay. Um, yeah, the live album is something I’ve always wanted to do. I played instruments, I’ve been making music that’s dope for a live band for a long time. So it’s just dope to do it, and I’m really happy with how it came out. We have an incredible band that played the music with me, and all these songs get new lives.
What kind of energy did The Internet bring?
I mean, those are my really really close friends, so I think that’s really the energy that that brings. [Eating] Those are my close friends. And when you’re playing on stage with some musicians, it’s cool, you know? It’s like, ‘Hey, we all love music and we have a cool connection.’ [Background: 'I'll take the dog for a walk. You wanna take Lil and I can take Ralph?'] When you’re playing with your friends, it’s magic, you know what I’m saying? You’re enjoying every second of it, and that language is such a different kind of language, and it’s something that you can really feel. So when the vibes on stage between the musicians are really good, everyone’s gonna feel that. So that’s what happens; we’re all having such a good time and we’re all friends. People feel that vibe.