Well Mac, we’re all glad you’re on to bigger and better things.
Thanks dude. [Laughs]
Back to the album, most of the features seem like they happened naturally. There aren’t really guests from outside your circle.
Nothing was planned on the album. I didn’t want to plan anything from the concept, the songs, or anything at all. I just wanted to make music and let the album come together on its own. We had the intro and the outro done early and just filled in the rest.
Well, the Jay Electronica feature was a big surprise, actually. His flow even sounds different.
It came down to the last minute with Jay. We had the album done and he hit me like ‘don’t turn the album in without my verse.’ So I trusted him, and we were talking throughout the whole process. It came out the way I wanted. He was psyched when I told him I wasn’t going to list him on the tracklist.
The Loaded Lux verse slaughtering you is pretty awesome.
I knew he would do it the best. He didn’t even hear the album when he wrote that. Overall, the album just shows growth from Macadelic… and from everything I’ve done. I feel like a lot of people are like ‘we didn’t see this coming!’ But I know a lot of my fans did.
Right, especially with all the Velvet Revival stuff, Larry Fisherman beats, and the stuff you’ve been doing with Earl and everyone.
Exactly! I think it would have been weird as fuck if I came out with Blue Slide Park 2 after all that.
Are you worried that maybe that some of your younger fans won’t be able to connect with this material?
My thing is that I’m trying to push my younger fans to appreciate shit like this. If we get can get fans to like “Knock Knock” and ”Suplexes”… that just shows that there’s awesomeness in the world. I used to just think about what my fans wanted all the time. But it just started feeling weird to me. I want to just show everyone who I am and stick to my vision. I have to trust myself. That’s really what this album is about. It’s me being able to trust myself and my vision. I do know what I’m doing.
I get that. From early in your career, critics were quick to box you in as a “frat rapper, “the White Wiz,” and so on.
And I hated that. I realized that the thing that bothered me was that no one knew I was really crafting records. I was never just a ‘fill in 16 bars on a beat’ rapper. I was making real songs from the jump. Like I never want to say ‘this album is better than my last.’ Every album can be different and be a great piece of work. This is really me just starting to come into my own as an artist. It gets me excited for whatever is next. I’m just starting to realize what I’m capable of. Really, I feel like I have so much more to do, with the production and everything. It’s just about making this music.
You could have followed the formula and won.
I wanted to challenge myself. That’s the opposite of what I wanted to do.
So let’s say that you did have another record breaking first week and even beat Kanye in first week sales. Does that matter to you? [Laughs] Honestly…
I’ve been saying Kanye deserves the number one album. Like, yea, It’s fun to joke about Yeezus, but I love that album title. I get how artists can be looked at as like prophets of the world. We all have followings, it can be like this weird, creepy thing. I hope he does get the number one album, and I hope I don’t. Because if I do… he’s going to get so mad [Laughs]. It would be bad, dude. But in all reality he deserves that.
If you do maybe he’ll come to you for a beat.
That’s like one of my idols musically. Someone that makes me realize that the best thing to do is produce your own music. I did some beats on Ab-Soul’s next album that I’m really proud of. I’ve been doing some stuff with Dash. I did a whole project with Vince Staples. I don’t really send beats out. I just like to work with whoever comes by my crib. I’m super excited about the joint with Vince. It’s nothing over produced and it’s raw. He’s one of the best rappers out right now. He’s that good, so I just wanted to give him a canvas to shine on.
That almost sounds like the opposite of Watching Movies. Every song is so layered with sounds.
A lot of the sounds on there aren’t even instruments. There’s birds throughout the whole things. The whole background of “Avian” is rain. I was just playing with textures and realizing you can touch music.
The Snozberries taste Snozberries [Laughs]. But it is like an album for all the senses.
That’s a great statement dude, I appreciate that.
Making it, did you trip out on anything more than weed and liquor. Shrooms? I’m just thinking of how Chance made Acid Rap
Um… I explored my mind a bit… I mean, I didn’t take anything crazy. I don’t know. No comment. [Laughs]
What happened with the Pink Slime EP with Pharrell?
It’s coming after this album. I was just so in the zone that I had to tell Pharrell we need to wait. I was so caught up in this vision for Watching Movies. I didn’t want to ruin it. We’re going to do it, though. I want to redo all the songs, and it’s going to be something completely different. I want to like go somewhere crazy and have him live in a studio for a while. I felt like I had to solidify my identity before doing a project with someone so accomplished. People know who Pharrell is, but they don’t really know who I am yet.
Has he said anything about your beats yet?
I was actually thinking about how cool it would be to have him rap or sing over one of my beats. I think he heard some of my earlier production but I hope he’s blown away by my new shit. I’m humbled by that dude and what he says about me. He told me he played one of the tracks we did for Jay-Z. He said Jay was like ‘this is Mac Miller?!’ [Laughs] That's just sick.