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VIBE Interview: Mac Miller On His New Album 'Watching Movies': 'I Just Did What I Wanted'

Mac Miller is 21-years-old, rich and currently calls the Hollywood Hills home. His debut album Blue Slide Park, which was released in 2011, became the first independent album to debut at the top of the Billboard charts since Snoop Dogg’s Doggystyle. On top of that, his first reality show, Mac Miller and The Most Dope Family, became the highest rated original debut series on MTV2 and is coming back for a second season.

“I want to take it to the next level,” Mac tells VIBE about reality TV. “I want to get it weirder, and now that we had the number one show, I think we have some pull. I think MTV trusts me now. I actually first told them I wanted to do a countdown show that plays music videos. Imagine what I would have played.”

In reality, though, it’s just about the music for the PA native. On the last Friday afternoon before his album officially hits iTunes and retailers, Mac is holed up in a suite at the Gansevoort Hotel in Manhattan. He’s finishing up a long week of press before the release, and asks if we can conduct the interview while he gets a fresh cut to save time. This project is Mac’s most experimental yet. He shied away from the radio friendly tracks and party jams that littered his debut. Even the title, Watching Movies With The Sound Off, initially left fans scratching their heads. Did Mac lose his mind? Is he on drugs? Maybe. But his goal is to expand his musical palette with this project. The formula for another trip to number one was right there in front of him, but the kid wasn’t trying to hear that either. Forget everything you thought you knew about Mac Miller.

When you played the album at your New York listening session, you had the “Turtle” movie playing along with it (Watch it here). We honestly didn’t know what to think at first. How the hell did you find that movie?
The turtle taught me so much [Laughs]. Well, Clockwork (Mac’s DJ) did shrooms… and told me about this movie. At first I just kind of brushed it off. At the time I was searching for the perfect movie to play with the sound off with the album. The day before the listening session in New York I was still looking for the perfect one. Originally, I was just going to chop up a bunch of different movie parts. But me and and my boy Jimmy finally decided to watch it and it just synced up perfectly.

The scenes weren’t cut or edited?
Nope, it was scary how perfect it synced up. How crazy is it that the scenes from the movie switch when the songs switch? When Loaded Lux was dissing me, the waves were crashing. And then I started rapping after that the sunlight was coming up. When Jay Electronica was rapping there was chaos everywhere. It was crazy as hell. The movie is called Turtle: The Incredible Journey. I just clicked to a random part and started watching it, and it worked perfectly. It was kind of creepy. Jimmy almost cried like four times.

During the listening you also said that Tyler, the Creator told you that the album was too dark. Sonically, it's pretty much a complete 360 from Blue Slide Park.
It’s just that the whole album was made in this closed off environment with the doors shut. No natural light. All the lights in the studio were red. It looked like an opium den. I had a certain way of life during the beginning, but at a certain point I finally opened the door and let natural light in, and I started working in the day. And the album needed those speckles of light. The album process was grueling but I wanted it to be like that. I wanted to go insane over it.

I remember hearing you say that you barely left your new house in L.A. during the recording process. Did you purposely lock yourself way from everyone for this album?
Pretty much. I just hung out with whoever would come through to the studio. That’s all I did. If you wanted to see me in the last 9 months, you came to the studio and I was probably a little zombified. You probably wouldn’t get a lot of eye contact, and you would be like ‘what the fuck is going on?’ But I had it together [Laughs].

You threw people a curveball when you dropped those jazzy Larry Lovestein records and random instrumentals. I think you had certain fans thinking ‘Is he depressed, heartbroken? What’s going on?’
I think I just stopped caring about how things were perceived. I just did what I wanted and didn’t care if people didn’t understand. This is what I want to make right now.

Was there anything going on in your life? J. Cole was just saying how he was depressed at certain points during the last year and wrote himself out of it with his Born Sinner album.
I definitely had my bad days, but everyone goes through depressed days. It’s common. My thing is to not run from it. When you feel sad it’s okay. It’s not the end of the world. Everyone has those days when you doubt yourself, and when you feel like everything you do sucks, but then there’s those days when you feel like Superman. It’s just the balance of the world. I just write to feel better.

I wanted to ask you about your battle with Promethazine (aka Lean). I think a lot of your younger fans probably don’t understand how powerful opiate addiction is.
It’s rough. I went through depression and all that, but I was straight. I mean you can ask the people on my team, and they’ll tell you it was serious… but you’re talking to the person that was doing the drugs, so of course I’ll be like ‘it wasn’t that serious.’ I know that I have an addictive personality, and it’s not always a substance. I’m addicted to something at all times. Like it’s always music but maybe sometimes it’s a pair of pants or something else. That’s just how my personality works. When I kicked Lean, I was always thirsty. Not like for pussy, but I just wanted something to drink all the times that would make me feel good. So for a while I just started drinking heavy liquor but I wasn’t going to become an alcoholic. It was just for the transition. It’s different for everyone, but I didn’t have this fuckin’ crazy battle to get off it. I just didn’t feel like sippin’ anymore.

How do you think it affected your music?
My music was getting to the point where you couldn’t even understand what I was saying on records anymore. I was just like mumbling. I loved it but then I was like ‘Oh, having energy is cool.’ I remember my homies would come up to me after I got off and they’d be like ‘I know you don’t want to hear this, but you can perform again.’ So it affects you… but I don’t really know how serious it was. The people around me probably do…

CLICK HERE TO READ PAGE 2 OF MAC'S INTERVIEW

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Nicki Minaj, 50 Cent, Drake And More Pay Tribute To Pop Smoke

The hip-hop world is in mourning after the tragic and shocking death of rising Brooklyn rapper Pop Smoke. Nicki Minaj, 50 Cent, Drake, Rich the Kid, Chance the Rapper and more paid tribute to the slain 20-year-old recording artist on Wednesday (Feb. 18) with many responding in disbelief.

“The Bible tells us that jealousy is as cruel as the grave. Unbelievable,” Minaj, who collaborated with Pop on his “Welcome to the Party” remix, wrote on Instagram. “Rest In Peace, Pop.”

The Brooklyn native, whose birth names was Bashar Barakah Jackson, was shot and killed inside his Hollywood Hills rental home early Wednesday. Two masked men broke into the home at around 4:30 a.m, sources told TMZ. Police arrived at 4:55 a.m. after responding to a call from the East Coast alerting them to a home invasion at the location. Pop was transported to Cedars-Sinai Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

“No such thing as success [without] jealousy,” tweeted 50 Cent. “Treachery comes from those who are close. RIP.”

Rich the Kid revealed that he spoke with Pop hours before his death. “I don’t wanna believe it, we literally spoke less than 24 hours ago I’m lost for word [sic] tryna type this message love you bro this s**t hurt me so bad that you gone already I’m tryna stop the tears.”

Drake took to his Instagram Story with a message on being grateful for life. “Sit by some good energy tonight in these unwelcoming times. Be with some good people and express how grateful you are for life. RIP Pop.”

“Rest Up Pop Smoke, you were too young,” tweeted Chance the Rapper. “God Bless and comfort your family. What a crazy trajectory you were on man smh.”

A candlelight vigil was held for the “Gatti ” rapper in Brooklyn on Wednesday night.

They outside turning up for #PopSmoke in Brooklyn 🔥💫 pic.twitter.com/KTA1UWSUKB

— Pop Smoke Central (@PopSmokeCentral) February 20, 2020

Candlelight vigil for #PopSmoke in Canarsie, Brooklyn 🙏 pic.twitter.com/bekh8TZqC2

— Pop Smoke Central (@PopSmokeCentral) February 20, 2020

Authorities have yet to officially confirm a motive for the murder as the investigation is ongoing.

Read tributes to Pop below.

No such thing as success with out jealousy, treachery comes from those who are close. R.i.P pic.twitter.com/OZxKtpPZog

— 50cent (@50cent) February 19, 2020

 

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Been shot at in San Fran , got arrested in Maryland , La , New York and Oklahoma , had a so call stand off with police in Oklahoma , Cali spot got broken into 4 times alll on tape and one of them even left they phone 😯😒ALLL SINCE I BEEN A “RAPPER” you literally gotta Pray 🙏🏿that you make it back home safe !! But then you not even safe at home.. 🙏🏿🙏🏿 my condolences

A post shared by 2 Chainz Aka Tity Boi (@2chainz) on Feb 19, 2020 at 6:08pm PST

 

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The Bible tells us that jealousy is as cruel as the grave. Unbelievable. Rest In Peace, Pop.

A post shared by Barbie (@nickiminaj) on Feb 19, 2020 at 6:57am PST

Rest Up Pop Smoke, you were too young. God Bless and comfort your family. What a crazy trajectory you were on man smh 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾

— Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) February 19, 2020

 

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This is heart breaking. He was just getting started. Prayers to his family 🙏🏽

A post shared by Hot Girl Meg (@theestallion) on Feb 19, 2020 at 9:42am PST

Travis Scott reacts to the death of Pop Smoke.

The two first met at Travis’ Astroworld music festival. pic.twitter.com/xyEO8dKWuo

— Only Hip Hop Facts (@OnlyHipHopFacts) February 19, 2020

 

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R. I. P. Lil homie. ✨🎤💙🙏🏽 damn I’m hurt all ova again 💫✨🌟 Gone2soon🌹💙

A post shared by snoopdogg (@snoopdogg) on Feb 19, 2020 at 7:54am PST

 

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Damn pop..... 🙏🏾

A post shared by Meek Mill (@meekmill) on Feb 19, 2020 at 8:48am PST

 

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I don’t wanna believe it, we literally spoke less than 24 hours ago I’m lost for word tryna type this message love you bro this shit hurt me so bad that you gone already I’m tryna stop the tears I’m tryna stop this chest pain that I got at 7 am when gramz texted me we gone miss you bro RIP @realpopsmoke 4L 💙💫

A post shared by BOSS MAN 🤵🏽💰 (@richthekid) on Feb 19, 2020 at 7:56am PST

 

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Lost for words right now! Smh 🤦🏽‍♂️ Brooklyn King! Rest up! 💙 this shit right here hit home!

A post shared by Young M.A (@youngma) on Feb 19, 2020 at 7:08am PST

 

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See You In Paradise Cuz 💙✌🏽💙

A post shared by MALIK & MUGGA 🌎 HUSSLE 🏁 (@daveeast) on Feb 19, 2020 at 11:05am PST

 

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F L Y H I G H W O O 🕊@realpopsmoke Got To Kno This Kid! Very Talented Humble Respectful And Appreciative Always Ask Questions Big Sponge To Knowledge Fast Learning Young Boss And The Huncho Was Here To Share That Anytime You Called Me! R.I.P 🙏🏾💫#MEETTHEWOO

A post shared by QuavoHuncho (@quavohuncho) on Feb 19, 2020 at 7:03am PST

 

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Damn bro just talked to u.💔Can’t believe it.you was on yo way. You was a real star bro. Yo energy was crazy. We needed ur energy n sound! Rest In Peace broski 😢😢💔💔

A post shared by T-Raww (@tyga) on Feb 19, 2020 at 7:49am PST

Texting me worried I love you for that !!!!!!! But rip pop smoke

— DURKIOOO🦅 (@lildurk) February 19, 2020

We are devastated by the unexpected and tragic loss of @POPSMOKE10. Our prayers and thoughts go out to his family, friends and fans, as we mourn this loss together. pic.twitter.com/nVnv9ESZOs

— Republic Records (@RepublicRecords) February 19, 2020

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CBS Los Angeles

Eric Holder Trial Date Could Coincide With Anniversary Of Nipsey Hussle’s Murder

A trial date has reportedly been set for Eric Holder, the man accused of killing Nipsey Hussle. Holder’s two-week trial is likely to begin in early April and is expected to end by April 14, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert Perry said in court on Wednesday (Feb. 19).

There’s a possibility that the trail could start in late March, which would coincide with the one-year anniversary of Hussle’s murder.

Judge Perry noted the seriousness of the case while addressing Holder in court. “These cases take time to get ready for trial,” Perry said according to the New York Daily News. “You have a right to a speedy trial.”

The case has been continued until March 18. Perry told Holder that the court would its best to begin the trial within 30 days. Holder agreed to the continuance and is scheduled to return to court next month.

Hussle, born Ermias Asghedom, was gunned down in the parking lot of his South Los Angeles clothing store on March 31, 2019. Holder was arrested two days later in Bellflower, Calif., which is roughly 20 miles away from the murder scene.

Last November, Judge Perry denied a motion to have two of Holder's charges dismissed sighting that there was enough evidence to go to trial. Holder, 30, has pleaded not guilty to one count of murder, two counts of attempted murder, one count of assault with a firearm, and one count of possession of a firearm by felon.

Holder allegedly reached out to a podcaster last week and vowed to share his story after the trial.

If convicted, Holder faces a maximum of life in prison.

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Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

LeBron James Sets Children's Book For Release This Summer

A man of many talents, LeBron James is adding author to his stacked resume. According to Entertainment Weekly, the three-time NBA champion joined literary forces with HarperCollins Publishers to create a children's book titled I PROMISE. The book will be released in August.

"Books have the ability to teach, inspire, and bring people together. That's why these books, and the opportunity to get children and parents reading together, mean so much to me," he said. "Most importantly, we wanted to make sure these stories are ones that every single kid can see themselves in. I PROMISE is powerful in that way and I can't wait for people to read it." On Instagram, James expounded upon his statement, hoping that the text will inspire its young readers and encourage the next game-changer.

"Man, the beauty of this is the process in how we got here," he wrote. "Never settling no matter the opportunities or chapters we add to this journey and now we get to share our promise and our story with kids and families everywhere. I can’t wait for everyone to read this, share this, feel empowered, and strive for greatness the same way my kids from Akron do every day." The book is illustrated by Nina Mata and will focus on giving back to communities and a reminder to always bet on yourself.

 

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Our own children’s book⁉️ What!! @ljfamfoundation @ipromiseschool Man, the beauty of this is the process in how we got here. Never settling no matter the opportunities or chapters we add to this journey and now we get to share our promise and our story with kids and families everywhere. I can’t wait for everyone to read this, share this, feel empowered, and strive for greatness the same way my kids from Akron do every day. 🙏🏾 Middle school edition next. 👀 👑 @harpercollins

A post shared by LeBron James (@kingjames) on Feb 18, 2020 at 9:10am PST

EW also notes the book will be followed by "a middle-grade novel" in 2021. The news follows another feat for the pro-athlete off the hardwood. After opening a public elementary school in his home state of Ohio in 2018, James' self-titled foundation partnered with Kent State University to offer free tuition for four years to the school's first graduating class.

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