Interview: Mac Miller Talks New Albums, Status of Pharrell EP, Why He Doesn’t Want Weed Legalized


Mac Miller is now a free agent, but that won’t stop him from churning out new music. Last night (Jan. 14), Mac announced that he has officially parted ways with Rostrum records, but assured the world that he was still “family” with his former label home. Right before New Year’s Eve, VIBE wrangled the Pittsburgh rapper for an impromptu phoner about his future plans.—Mikey Fresh

VIBE: What made you want to release a live album after all these years of performing?
Mac Miller: It’s really just a tactic to confuse people and make them buy songs [laughs]. Nah man, I’ve got a lot of extra records from the album and they didn’t really fit the story of Watching Movies With The Sound Off but to me they’re still great songs. They are songs that need to be heard. I think it’s important to do B-sides, and I think it gives the actual album Watching Movies more perspective to show what didn’t make it.

That record with Future “Earth” definitely caught people off guard.
Yeah, my album’s an innovative motherfucker, bro. No fucking around with this music shit. Future is good people and he can rap, but people always want to box somebody into something so we kind of traded songs. I did the one record for him that was ‘Hoes Go Crazy’. I did the auto tune on that and when he laced his verse fro me… he killed it.

From watching your shows, we know that you are nice on the guitar. But do you ever get the urge to make rock music?
Haha, that sounds like an awesome thing. I have a lot of songs that are singer/songwriter songs, so yeah, of course. It’s all about the timing of it, and it’s funny because there’s all these different sub-labels of hip-hop, right? So you do this record, that record and it’s all different kinds of sounds and then you go into singing and then you’re like ‘what do I call it?’ It’s like, you’re deciding whether you want to go on the guitar and do some rhythm shit or do I want to do some electronic futuristic music with me singing? It’s a lot, but you know, we’ll see. I’ve thought over everything.

Do you have any tracks that are just straight rock tracks that aren’t hip-hop at all?
Oh yeah, definitely. I have some songs here. I have a song that’s like a real straight classic rock song, like for real. I have my songs that are straight me on the guitar where I’m pouring out my soul like a little girl.

Like some emo type stuff?
Nah, not emo because I don’t have songs like I’m gonna cut myself while I sing [laughs]. More like Bob Dylan-ish type shit.

I think Watching Movie definitely set new ground for you in 2013. Obviously, it didn’t do the numbers like Blue Slide Park but it really opened up people’s minds as to what you could really do musically.
That album brings people a little bit closer to understanding what’s going on in my mind. I’m a hard motherfucker though for people to really grasp what the fuck my purpose is, and I’m right there with them trying to figure out the same thing. But I think the album was a step in the right direction and 2014 will be another couple steps in the right direction. I’ve got a lot of music ready for people to hear.

I know you said you’ve got a bunch of new music already. So is your next project going to be another album where people don’t know where you’re going musically? Have you got any ideas on a title or concept yet?
Actually, there’s a few different ones. I have like 6-7 albums that are in the process of being created, currently. Maybe five that are like seven songs deep each, and I have to figure out which is one is going to see the light first, and what the set up is going to be. I want to do something big though. I want the next record to do something that’s big from all aspects. I want it to like shift the culture. Thug it out right and shift the culture. It sounds like a typical rapper line but you get it [laughs].

Yea, that’s a good rapper phrase, “shift the culture”, very Kanye ish. Honestly, one project that could really shift the culture is this Pink Slime project with Pharrell. What’s the latest on that?
That’s got to come. So, basically my schedule I’m doing at the moment is that I’ve got to go to Australia in January. At the end of January, we’re going to Australia but other than that I don’t really have much to do. So we surfed it down, and we have a bunch of records made for it but I want to get in with Pharrell and put down something. I told him I might just go to Miami, so I might just pop up in Miami and show up and be like ‘Yo P, let’s do this!’

You guys should just put that thing out, put it out Beyonce style, don’t even tell anyone, just fucking release it on iTunes.
Exactly, fucking Beyonce dude, people just copy what Beyonce does.

Before I forget, did you think this album had any chance of getting nominated for a Grammy?
I wasn’t submitted so you know, whatever. It’s definitely one of my goals and one of my dreams, dude. Everyone can pretend that they don’t care about getting good reviews and they don’t care about people liking their music but they can’t pretend that they don’t care about a Grammy.

I know you were saying the Macadelic tour was rough, were faced with any bad temptations, old habits?
I am completely 100% sober. That was also in my rap book [laughs]. Oh man, I’m fine. I’ve always been fine. I think everyone was trying to make my drug thing bigger than it was in the media. I’m good on using drugs. But do I get high? Fuck yeah, I love to smoke weed and I’m not going to stop getting high, fuck that. But I’m just smart about it. I’m not going to let it get in the way of what I gotta do. I got stuck up in a society that says ‘alcohol is okay.’ So I got drunk, society doesn’t care if you get drunk off alcohol, so I drink now.

They don’t care about that but they still wont legalize weed in most places, which is fucked up.
I know man, whatever. I don’t know. I don’t even fucking want people to legalize weed.

Really, why not?
Because I don’t want the government selling me my fucking weed. They can legalize it, but I don’t want them to sell the shit. I’m still going to pick up my weed from the homie. I don’t want fucking government weed.