Mac Miller Covers ‘Billboard’ Before ‘Blue Slide Park’ Debuts

By Nadeska Alexis

Mac Miller is four days away from the November 8 release of his debut album Blue Slide Park and this week the Pittsburg native landed on the cover of Billboard, as “The Newest Face of The New Music Business.” The cover story charts Miller’s rise to Internet fame, from performing shows local shows—“I think I’ve performed for two people before. Like, literally, two people”— to the present, where he’s predicted to sell 100K units during his first week on the charts. At the core of Miller’s story is the decision to stick with his indie label Rostrum Records (helmed by CEO Benjy Grinberg) instead of inking a deal with the majors, like his label mate Wiz Khalifa.

Miller, on the message in his music: “I’ll never pretend I have an inspiring story like certain people,” he says. “There are people here to tell inspiring stories, people like Kendrick Moore or Big K.R.I.T. who have deep messages about things that . . . I can’t say. It’s not my place to say . . . I just make music that’s hip-hop. I’m not here to be a teenybopper sensation. I make music because I love making music. So whoever wants to love it, that’s who I want as my fans.”

Miller, on his 21-and under fan base: “Kids-they’re so much more excited and willing to spend their money,” he says. “A 25-year-old dude is not going to be sitting at his computer, waiting for Mac Miller tickets to go on sale. These kids are lining up at 10 a.m. for a 9 p.m. show.”

Grinberg, on the decision to remain indie: “We’ve learned a lot about the ins and outs of the majors and how different things operate [through working with Khalifa],” Grinberg says. “We try to apply those lessons to everything we do . . . I’m not on some sort of revolutionary [anti-major] kick. I just know there are better ways of doing things.”

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