Mac Miller Declares That His Fans Will Decide If He Ever Goes To A Major Label, Confirms Work With Q-Tip

In giving HipHopDX his current five favorite all-time Hip Hop albums, Mac Miller gets into a discussion on how Big L is "most dope" and how A Tribe Called Quest's "Midnight Marauders" shaped him.

During the Midwest leg of his Blue Slide Park Tour, Mac Miller’s journey itself was an explanation of why it was difficult to find standing room at the Columbus, Ohio stop on his long journey across the country.

“Thumbs Up” has become a movement like no other, however Mac’s wallet hasn’t always made his career decisions. When discussing his future plans as a Hip Hop artist, Mac illustrates why “Thumbs Up” is a true movement.

“It’s really up to my fans,” he said. “I feel like you have to get a grassroots and a foundation before you really jump into that major status.”

As one of the artists on the forefront of the independent movement, Mac Miller remarks on the possibility of signing a major deal, expectations of Blue Slide Park, his favorite hip-hop music and announces a collaboration possibility with Q-Tip.

HipHopDX: What should we be expecting out of Blue Slide Park?

Mac Miller: Just good music, man I don’t think fans should really expect anything. I just want them to kind of listen, you know? I think that expectations ruin albums because you expect artists to this and they do that and you expect them to do that and they do this and you go in listening expecting something and if it’s not what you expect, all of the sudden it’s not good to you. I just think that the most important thing when listening to any project, not just mine, is for people to learn to just go in with an open mind and not what they want it to be but just listen to what it is.

DX: Will Blue Slide Park be something similar to past Mac Miller projects or something new?

Mac Miller: I mean it’s going to be me. It’s going to be a little bit of everything that brought me here today plus what I feel is the next step so it’s all about growing and making music and having fun with it you know I don’t really worry about what I did before or what people want from me. I just kind of make music that I want to make.

DX: How big would it be to go platinum as an independent artist if you could ever achieve that?

Mac Miller: That would be, I mean I don’t see myself doing that but if I do that, like Jesus, man, I mean come on, dude that’s like next level shit because it’s hard. You can’t go platinum without like big radio songs and touching people that simple rapping doesn’t do but I mean it’s just dope to me to be selling any records generally you know? I’m blessed to do anything independently but yeah, man, I just want to see how big we can take it and I like staying the independent route. I like earning everything I get and I like feeling very accomplished every time something happens.

DX: Would you ever consider signing a major deal?

Mac Miller: I think at some point in my career, yeah man because I think it’s just like a certain step to take but maybe not. It all depends like if we’re like, if no one’s ever done anything like this independently so if we do pull it off, then fuck a major you know what I’m saying? We don’t need one. But you know at the end of the day we’ll see what we can do. If it’s actually impossible to hit platinum record’s iconic status independently, then I’m going to have to go to a major at some point but I really hope that I can do it independently. It’s really up to my fans. I am going to work as hard as I can to push this thing forward but it’s up to my fans or my street team. If they want to go tell their friends about me and get their friends to become fans then maybe we can do it all independently.

DX: You love Big L's Lifestylez ov da Poor and Dangerous but what is your favorite joint on it?

Mac Miller: I would say "Street Struck." It’s gotta be my jam on there. "All Black" is also a good ass song and "The Graveyard."

DX: Yeah that’s got Jay on there.

Mac Miller: Yeah [Jay-Z]’s on there but yeah those are my favorite jams but obviously "Put It On" is the joint and The Big Picture is also phenomenal too. Like "The [Big Picture] Intro" to The Big Picture is one of the illist shits of all time like that beat. I was talking to [DJ Premier] and I was like, “Dude I’ve been like looking since I was 15 years old trying to find that beat,” so I’ve been trying to get it off him.

DX: What would you say is your top five albums of all time?

Mac Miller: It’s hard for me to pick, you know what I’m saying? But if I had to just pick five albums real quick because I mean it depends on how I’m feeling one day. One day it could be these five or another it could be these five but if we were just talking about five Hip Hop albums of all-time, in no order, I would just say [Big L's] Lifestylez, [Notorious B.I.G.'s] Ready To Die, [Nas'] Illmatic, [Outkast's] Aquemini and [A Tribe Called Quest's] Midnight Marauders.

DX: That’s a top five of a lot of people. [Laughs]

Mac Miller: Yeah that’s what I’m sayin’. [Laughs] You don’t want to say what everyone says but how are you going to say that Illmatic is one of the best albums or how are you not going to say that Ready to Die or [Notorious B.I.G.'s] Life After Death, which ever one you like better? I don’t know I just think those are five you’ve gotta name. I mean Midnight Marauders to me is like one of the best albums ever if not the best album ever.

DX: Who would be someone you’d like to work with, old or new, that you haven’t hit the studio with yet?

Mac Miller: Andre 3000 without a doubt, he’s just dope. Nelly Furtado because I think that would be cool and Missy Elliot. I already have some stuff in the works with Q-Tip, which he is like one of my favorites of all time you know Tribe is like, that is my soundtrack to my life you know?

DX: What do you think about the independent movement for everyone getting it independently?  

Mac Miller: I think that certain steps would have to be taken for independent artists before you go to a major like how I feel is you’re just way better off doing a bunch of shit independently before you go to major label status because there’s just certain things that majors can’t do for you, which is like get you started. I mean I guess they could. I don’t know how it all works but I feel like you have to get a grassroots and a foundation before you really jump into that major status. But I would just like to see a bunch of independent artists just get it and go all independent.

DX: When you were just starting out having dreams of getting big, was this always the route you were going to take?

Mac Miller: When I was younger, I didn’t think it was possible to get this far independently. My dream was always to sign to a major and be a huge star but I always knew that I was supposed to be here doing this and being as big on this level as possible. It’s just dope to see us all doing it like this and just see us all doing it with the team and I would have never thought we could have done this without a major. I didn’t think that that was possible. When I was younger I was like, “Man who am I going to sign with? I’m going to sign with Def Jam, yeah.” But now I know that independent is possible.  

Purchase Music by Mac Miller


  • jg

    why go major label Mac? you've already proven that an independent can bang with the big boys. Keep doing your thing.

  • Amirhossssein

    WTF???? He IS major already! he aint no indie when he can distribute 150k copies all over US and + he got all of suppurt and mag covers that a Major artist can have! and he was all over MTV and you tube and twitter ! he aint no indie artist believe me! indie is Pharaoh monch! or tech n9ne in past decade (not lately)

  • Anonymous

    LOL worst white rapper of all time. gayer than stagga lee bubba sparxxx asher roth vanilla ice and any other white rapper you can think of mac miller exposes all the thirsty old sellout niggas though. cuz they wanna work with him. premier is god of rap, he's also a crazy sellout that can't say no to a check. i hope this faggots album flops and he disappears. dx posts his retarded face every fucking day. stop gassing wack frauds for the sake of music. even when wack rappers flop now they stick around. no quit in these fakes.

  • Shawnee B.

    Mac might not rap about every damn topic, mostly dope and partying, but the guy's 19. What were you doing when you were 19? SAME THING. Damn sure not makin music people all across the world listen to. Maybe that's why you don't like his music though, you've got a down vote to bud. And for that, I say get fucked. I don't even smoke weed anymore but still love it and can relate to every single jam Mac puts out there. I'm just a little white girl tryna get on a track with Mac though. You ain't gotta listen to me, but you should thoughhhh. CALM DOWN. MostDope.

  • R.Pgh

    I respect the kid for his hustle. A lot of the shit he talks about I can't relate to cause he's a decade younger than me, but he has a good ear for beats and always shows respect to real emcees. Good luck to him.

  • Mecca

    I dont think It would matter. I commend him for the stuff he put on the list(Textbook answers), but tunes like Donald Trump proove hes no better than a rapper that appeals to the young suburban etc etc, displaying a lack of sound lyricism and annoying giggles/laughs in between sentences.

  • Anonymous

    Who cares he is still shit anyway Major Label or Independent I mean has that person ever charted in the 50 in the US no has he ever charted in the R&B and Rap Charts no so why the fuck is he news he is not a rapper he is a pop artist. Huge difference Hiphopdx.

  • King Richard

    & please listen 2 a super lyrical memphis mc wen u get a chance & dnt complain about hip hop being dead if u ain't gon support da new rappers dats actually good....

  • King Richard

    must b crazy 2 think any1 goin plat indy,b lucky 2 platinum if u any mc besides,em,jay,wayne,drake,kanye & please listen 2 a super lyrical memphis mc wen u get a chance & dnt complain about hip hop being dead if u ain't gon support da new rappers dats actually good....

  • Anonymous

    one thing i will have to say i have never seen an independent rapper with a buzz as big as mac miller the kid is a hustler he stays grinding and i bey my bottom dollar he outsells tech nine and thats sayin alot the kid is gettin ready to get paid!

  • Theo Samuda

    Seriously,the best hip hop album ever made is the first jedi mind trick album.I can not believe they are never mentioned as anyones influences.

  • Anonymous

    its sad that both him and drake never mention pac as influences, but it makes sense because both mac and drake are nothing like pac, they arent even the same genre, i think im over rap cuz its all about white boy shit now.


      I'm here for the, fathers and mothers, Sisters and brothers, For the guilty, the innocent, citizens, and the immigrants, If you ain't listen you missin out Bear witness to the realist out (I bet they listen now) If my voice didn't work, but my hands could talk Would you take the time to see what a def man thought? I could be alone and homeless Hurt won't heal, but my cardboard sign so my words are real Would you stop to drop change? Or stop for a change? Engage in conversation, and exchange names? Or maybe you would if my image was a bitch Big lips and bigger tits show you what real sex is but, What if I was picked for grave? Sick for days? Aged to be sick with aids? Would you listen to my story that I swear is touching, Or just blank stare cause you're scared to touch me? If I'm Jewish or Christian does it affect your decision to See past religion and simply listen to wisdom? Would you really listen to my views on the government If my raps were democrat and yours are republican? Whether I'm black or white, gay, straight, hermaphrodite, Half the time trash the light and we all act alike So, pass the mic, don't assist being ignorant Unclench your fist for a bit and just listen YOOOO ASHER ROTH IS A BEAST FUCK YOU TALKING ABOUT ???

    • quit bitchin

      boo fucking hoo. who gives a fuck if they mention pac or not. is that some new rule? all new cats gotta mention pac? i bet if you took a look at this dudes itunes he's got plenty of pac up there. he mentions big L cause he influenced him the most. keyword "influenced" look it up if you don't understand it faggot. white dudes aint ruin' rap. the people who take guys like MGK and asher roth seriously are. last time i checked eminem yelawolf and even mac are doing theyre thing. as for drake...dude is gay i agree with you there

  • Notorious H.A.T.E.R.

    Man. All these white boys starting to rap is alarming. I know a lot of brothers are ignorant and from the ghetto and could care less but this is real alarming. I am not being negative or taking away from anybody's talent. However, black people are minorities, we only comprise 12% of the population, it is so easy for hip-hop to become a predominately white genre. Look what happened to rock and roll, it started out primarily black, look at it now. When my son reaches his teens and hip-hop is no longer black I am going to tell him what Malcolm X told his wife about the Nation of Islam "niggas fucked up one of the best things black people ever created."

    • whatever


    • Fuck Outta Here

      why is it alarming that white kids rap? Who the fuck do you think buys all these albums? Take any rapper that ever sold gold or better and I guarantee you that 60% of their album sales are from white kids. Don't be such a faggot ass hater. Good music is good music. Who gives a fuck who made it? Dumb fucks like you will scream and shout about how the white man holds you down and how you want equality, but if a white kid dare try to get into black music there is a sudden change of heart and equality is out the window. Suck and dick and die, you fuck.

    • ........

      That might happen, what a shame. What a damn shame.

  • Anonymous

    At first I thought dis dude was just one of them wack asher rother/sam adams college white boys. his music aint my type but i respect the dude and he seems like he's gonna be around longer and have more of an impact than those other cats i mentioned

  • DrDreBeats

    Its not really a surprise to me that he knows his stuff when it comes to hip hop. Most the white rappers just get asked the most dumbest questions and are mostly you're white, which means lets talk about Eminem.

  • Anonymous

    dont sign to a major it changes people

  • Sarah hensler

    I think Mac has a good head on his shoulders. Anybody can like the music he makes as long as they listen and can feel the music. And he doesn't want to move forward unless he knows his fans are happy, and that's what will get him further in the music industry. I respect Mac's dicisions and I think he's making the right moves. Mac you are doing an amazing job and your music sounds great. I hope you keep doing the things, you are doing right now.

  • silentturd plz check it out?

  • Broward County

    I met Miller here in Vegas a few months ago. He was real cool. His rhymes are real average, but his fans connect with him more as a guy than as a lyricist.

  • i love hip hop

    check out this amazing freestyle

  • 2dope

    This guys cool. Man hes just a bit younger than me and just DOIN IT.

  • Anonymous

    Mac is dope and you can tell he respects and knows REAL HIP-HOP

  • thought dog

    It mustve taken forever for the article editor to take out all of the unnecessary usages of the word, like, from Mac Millers answers.

  • Javier Martinez

    DX, y'all are too polished & a step ahead of everyone else for you to still have SO MANY dumbass typos. C'mon.

  • John Book

    I like what Mac Miller does, but this sounds like it's straight out of TIGER BEAT, or from the Bieber page of fan support. For one, I respect that he understands what it means to be "grass roots", that you can't rush into superstardom. In 2011 though, when the artist has more control over how they and their music is perceived, why even make that jump when you can do it yourself? Sure, having "major label status" means having more endorsements, more opportunities, greater chances for songs to be used in movies and television, and I hope he gets that. But to actually wait around unless the fans say it's okay, or use that as an excuse when I'd like to think most artists have made that decision a long time ago on when to take their music and career to a higher level? The era of the "mandatory Eminem replacement" is over, I just hate the fact that when it comes to a white MC, he's immediately considered "premium" and deserves that privilege just because of his skin tone. No, what I want to hear is some level of creativity and commitment, and some damn good music. If you can do that, then you can play and pave that road towards greater success in whatever way you want. I don't care if you're Action Bronson, Slug, Edan, Jesse Dangerously, MC Homeless, Braille, or Eternia: you got good music, I will show you support all the way. Mac Miller, I do like, but "to wait around for fans"? No. If you have fans, they will be with you for the long journey. Some will leave, but maybe they were in it with you as part of a popularity contest. You don't need them. Just strengthen your game, but don't come off as false or like a pop idol. In the words of Nicole Scherzinger, be careful what you wish for, for you just might get it. Just guide yourself well, Mac Miller, and you'll be alright.

    • LC

      Okay... Maybe I was just generalizing, but I'm just saying why go to a major label if you are successful as an independent artist? You should make sure you have as much control over your music as possible. Mac isn't stupid, he knows that major labels can change people and would like to stay independent as long as possible to keep total control. He will sign to a major label if he really needs too. But he says before he signs anything he will make sure he has control over his music. That is what I understand from the interview above and many others on a variety of sites.

    • uponeverysession

      you are all generalizing.... but make some good points. what i take out of this is that mac is saying if he doesnt sell well he will definitely give it some thought about going major. best of luck mac!!! hiiipower!!!

    • hiphophead

      he will sign a major after this it's just about seeing how many he can sell without major label backing, he'll probably move about 100,000 in the first week and i doubt a label would've been able to push it for much more. Remaining unsigned, he retains all of the money made off album sales which is good but he wants more. I wouldn't be surprised if he signs to Warner Bros. by summer 2012

    • Tweiss

      First off, when I read this article I was completely intrigued at the fact that he stayed him. This isn't some sort of bieber fan page. I love the way that he speaks and stays honest throughout the piece. As far as labels go, yes you do bring up a great point. However, labels ALWAYS and will ALWAYS change an artist. It may not always be easy to pick up at first but if you follow an artist from the beginning to a newer cd released on a record label nine out of ten times ye artist has changed. The fact that Mac is doing this on his own is fantastic. I also agree with LC on the fan stance. I believe he means that if fans keep supporting him enough that then a major record label that he would enjoy working on may offer him a contract. He would have to be popular enough for them to even notice him at all though. So his fans truly do determine the outcome of him signing to a major deal in a way. Yeah, maybe Mac may just be that one artist that ha enough power to not change, I don't think he would even give them the chance to change him though. Regardless, Mac hopefully will keep making his tracks no matter what and keep on blowing our minds with what he puts out.

    • 905

      You guys are generalizing, it's much more complicated than that. Not everyone has the exact same major label contract, some artists have more control than others while on a major label. And while being independent can be a good thing for some artists, it might not work out for others.

    • LC

      Honestly what you have said here makes sense, but I don't agree with all of it. Labels have too much control over an artist and the music they create. Take Lupe Fiasco for example. Atlantic Records wouldn't release his album, "Lasers", because it wasn't what they wanted. They wanted to turn him into a pop-rap artist just so they could make more money. This almost brought him to suicide, and resulted in a terrible album. Also Lupe is going back to working independent. So maybe, just maybe, Mac Miller is doing what is best for his career. If he is successful with his music as an independent artist, then why sign to a major label. When he says it is up to the fans, he simply means it depends on the success of his album sales. It is only up to the fans in the sense that they go out and buy his album. Just my opinion. With all due respect.

    • TROY

      Educated point, but I don't agree. Labels have overtaken control of artists from fans (not that fans really want control, but they want creativity). Mac hasn't succumbed. Which Asher Roth, Wale and truly Wiz did.