Mac Miller Loves ‘The Lion King’
Mac Miller is a well-known movie buff, so much so that he named his sophomore album Watching Movies With The Sound Off, which reflected the atmosphere in the studio while he was recording his moody and thoughtful LP. He’s known for sprinkling in references to films throughout his lyrics, as well; throughout his career, he’s sprinkled in references to The Royal Tenenbaums, Star Wars, Anchorman, Blow, The Adjustment Bureau and Blade 3, to name a few.
“I get real into movies—like, I cry at sad movies, I smile when cheesy parts happens, I’m really into characters,” he told XXL last year when promoting WMWTSO. “I always get pissed about movies, that they’re not real. I always want them to be real.”
With his new mixtape, Faces, out this month, Mac talked with XXL, and the conversation eventually turned to one of his favorite films of all time: The Lion King. Let’s just say he had a lot to say about that one. —Dan Rys
XXL: Do you have one film that’s your favorite?
Mac Miller: I actually can make my one statement of what my favorite movie of all time is, you ready? Lion King, bro. That shit is amazing—soundtrack, incredible, and the actual story and values it teaches a young person is fucking amazing. For me, Lion King, that shit was crazy. I’ve been saying that all the music I’ve been making recently is all like that scene where the hyenas are all marching [Sings “Be Prepared”].
“Be Prepared,” right?
Yeah, “Be Prepared.” That shit’s tight, but that’s actually a fucking incredible movie; all jokes aside, Lion King is actually really good. Did you cry when you watched The Lion King?
Probably when I first saw it, definitely. That shit is sad as fuck, man.
Mufasa’s death scene was fuckin’ real, bro.
That shit is traumatic.
But that’s the other thing—if you moved that into, like, a human movie scene—that man got trampled, and this man Simba had to go up and watch his dad die.
AND it was his uncle’s fault.
Right, and that’s some fucked up shit as a human being! If I had to see my pops get trampled by antelopes and then die? I can’t—and then say, “I can’t wait to be king”—I would be able to wait to be king after that, you know? I’m gonna make a different fuckin’ Lion King where Simba has to watch his dad die and then goes off on a fuckin’ drug binge and he never amounts to anything because he’s just fuckin’ taking pills all the time because he couldn’t deal with it.
I feel like that whole thing where he leaves and goes and hangs out with Timon and Pumbaa for a while is sort of a metaphor for that, though.
Oh wow, really? It’s a metaphor for drugs?
I don’t know, but it’s like the whole escaping from reality thing, right?
Hey, Disney was on some wild shit, bro. Growing up, I realized every single movie I was watching was about penises. Who the fuck is making kids movies about penises? Who in their right mind? But that’s tight, because to be real, if I was making a children’s movie, I would probably try and sneak in the funny little penis drawing that nobody could see.
Just to keep yourself entertained.
Yeah, and just to be like, I [did it]. “Hey, you guys remember Jerry from accounting?” “You mean the guy who put his dick in the Timon and Pumbaa scene?” “Yeah, that guy!” But regardless, it’s hard for me to pick favorites with anything like that. It’s hard for me to pick favorites of anything. It’s difficult because there’s just too many movies and too much music out. Like, if I’m in this type of mood, I’m gonna watch this type of movie; it’s just impossible.