DJ Jazzy Jeff Talks Mac Miller's Appeal, Draws Comparisons To His Work With The Fresh Prince

Exclusive: The DMC champ explains how Mac Miller's use of a Lord Finesse sample brought himself, DJ Premier and others to the table, and Miller's good-times raps remind him of his own legacy in Rap.

On Tuesday June June 22, HipHopDX spoke to DJ Jazzy Jeff. The Philadelphia, Pennsylvania native is a turntablist icon, in addition to his vast production credits in Hip Hop and R&B. The longtime musical partner to The Fresh Prince (b/k/a Will Smith) was joined by latest protege, Toronto, Ontario's Ayah, who will release her second free project, Back For More, on July 12.

In a segment of the discussion, Jeff spoke about an upcoming tape with DXnext alum Mac Miller, a Pittsburgh emcee, who is known for promoting simple fun in his raps - with a deep appreciation for the early '90s Hip Hop that was created by Jeff and his peers. The turntable master (and Ayah) chimed in on Mac's appeal, and explained how other icons are getting hip to the game.

HipHopDX: Your generation to me are the torch passers. Not that you’re giving it up but you can say to kids, my age and younger, alright you’re a part of this hip-hop thing whether you’re an artist, a DJ, a producer, whatever it is and Mac (Miller) is an interesting guy because here he is, he’s not claiming to be from the streets. Talk about what he’s doing, as a legend Jeff, say “You know what, I can get behind what this kid’s about.”

DJ Jazzy Jeff: Well you know what’s funny is, I kind of go into the whole 20-year cycle that when everyone was going crazy off of the Electro music all that was to me was the '80s reincarnated. And what comes after the '80s is the '90s. I think the thing that really caught me attention was off of the "Kool-Aid and Frozen Pizza" that he did off of the Lord Finesse ["Hip 2 Da Game"] beat and it was just something off of the throwback era of the '90s and you got this 19-year-old kid spitting on it that’s doing the song justice and it caught my attention, which made me call someone like DJ Premier and put him onto it and it caught his attention and me just reaching out and giving a thumbs up like, “Yo this is hot.” [Mac Miller contacted me and] was just kind of like, “Yo I’m a huge fan, would love to do something, I’ve got an idea to piece together this '90s Hip Hop mixtape that I would love to have you a part of it," and that’s pretty much how that all came along. And what I gave to Premier and the other guys was like you know we’re blessed enough to be around to watch this cycle come around to our hey-day. So how dope would it be for us to help this new generation. If the new thing is '90s Hip Hop, why not get a '90s Hip Hop legend to help you do it. So it’s crazy because it’s a full cycle.

At the end of the day, you always have to be a student of this game you can never ever think that you know everything and you’ve got everything under control so I picked his brain just as much as he picked mine because he knows what’s going on now. He knows the people, he knows the marketplace so it was definitely a lesson with him actually the funny thing is the song that I did with him for this project, Ayah is on.

DX: Can you speak about that Ayah?

Ayah: Yeah Mac [Miller] was in the studio. Mac’s really cool, great energy and he kind of had an idea of what he wanted to do and he had been working on it with Jeff for a couple of minutes before I came down and it was an instant click and it was real easy to do. The ideas were there, the vibes were there and the rest just kind of happened it was a cool thing.

DX: Do you see a parallel from the fun be yourself music that you made 20 years ago to what Mac Miller, Wiz Khalifa and Curren$y are doing right now?

DJ Jazzy Jeff: Absolutely, I mean the older that you become that everything that your parents told you about everything goes in cycles comes to fruition. All it is is this is what me and Will did and that is one of the reasons I gravitated to Mac is Mac to me is a young Will [Smith]. He wants to have fun, he has a great time with his music, he’s 19 years old and living life to the fullest, which I think is great for music.

Purchase Music by DJ Jazzy Jeff


  • Jay White

    jeff is still an amazing dj@ check out his mix live from LA

  • phil

    fuck wiz now hes getting wack the old wiz was nice

  • William Munnerlyn

    yeah this song introduced me to mac also... i love 90s hip-hop more than any other kind. glad to see mac gettin props from jazz

  • Uno

    Musically, this is good music and he is talented but its nothing really new. Just sounds like classic 90s and makes you miss those old records. He kind of looks like an annoying nerdy punk in his videos. Its hard to really like the guy. There was actually alot of this music with whiteboys already out in the 90s but pre-eminem, there was no love.

  • Masshole

    im white and id rather listen to a cat get run over then boring ass down syndrome looking Wack Miller he stinks

  • Anonymous

    the next fresh prince....blasphemy

  • Chet Haze

    Awww yeeaahh! Us white guys are takin over the game! I see you Mac! Lets burn some of that bomb haze bro! And don't worry my dad can pay for it! All of my homies at the frat house support you Mac! PURPLE AND YELLOW!

    • Anonymous

      never heard of a sam adam but mac miller is okay

    • Itstrue

      It's true. but all races identify with those that look like them. When I started listen to eminem as a kid, unconsciously I was listening to him cause he was white. i identifyed with him more. was it racist? hell ya, i wasent listening to other rap until a few years later. its not unexpected. people are racist but if ur aware of it u can identify and be aware of it.

    • LOL

      *Coming from a White Boy* Bunch of closet racist punk ass white boys who will only listen to rap if the rapper's white.White, bubble gum rappers like Sam Adams and Mac Miller. Don't even get me started on how you white people go ape-shit over Eminem. He's dope...but some of you support him STRICTLY because he's white. I'm just sayin'...

    • Anonymous

      LOL is this comment 4 real? frat house? daddy paying for weed? thats pretty much how i pictured mac miller fans

  • Mike

    Can't front, I never really paid attention to this dude. But after watching the video posted above, I've become interested in Mac's music. I like the fact that he's not trying to sell out and go pop. He's doin him and I respect it.

  • bmbooox Nigga

    Mac Lethal> Mac Miller Bernie Mac> Mac Miller Shorty Mac> Mac Miller Kraft Mac & Cheese> Mac Miller

  • Anonymous

    Fuck this white boy

  • K-Mo

    I've been to several Mac Miller concerts and he's already selling out venues without a major label cosign. The next generation of hip hop fans love this kid because they can relate to him. I hope to see a Mac/Jazzy Jeff 90s style mixtape!

  • Anonymous

    kid is wack, i dont care if tupac comes back from the dead and co-signs him, he is still wack to me, dope beats dont make you a good rapper

    • Anonymous

      ..beat is good generally the **music*** is good

    • Anonymous

      agreed. but some of his simple rhymes are what make him a lil appealing. he is wut he is. be it good or bad, the combination of a voice and a beat make good music so if the beat is good generally the beat is good. like you said though; it doesnt make him a good rapper.

  • Hannya

    If this Jazzy Jeff and Mac Miller tape becomes a reality i will def be checking for this. I can definitely respect the fact that Mac is having fun with his music and not on some murder murder kill kill bullshit. Its not a bad thing to have fun.

    • The MG

      So that's it? Everything's gotta be black and white now? It's either have fun or shoot somebody? What about being political or being reflective? What about speaking your mind on different topics going on in the world? Of course nothing wrong with having fun, but there's more to hip hop than just fun and murder. I hope you realize that.

  • Christian Livingbible

    Will Smith and Jazzy Jeff were the truth, I hope this mac rapper can do Christian music and fun stuff, rap is to rough or about nothing but materialism Share website it has changed my life and my families. Now I am trying to get my friends to go and find out more about God Love God and Love your Neighbors (all Humans) Matthew 5-7 and Exodus 20 God bless u and obey. God loves you and everyone around you pass this on because you care about people like God cares about you Please love God and become his property take ownership away from the flesh and the world and give it to God

  • NY

    I don't care if they approve of him or not "Donald Trump" is a disgrace to hip hop culture, just another bullshit rapper that talks about money that's why real hip hop heads don't embrace him. They did put his only okay song on here, but other than that song I don't want to listen to him.

    • LordLamickTheEmperor

      Real convincing argument there NY... You hate one song but like his other, but that one bad song was so bad no 'real hip hop heads' would embrace him? some cynical bullshit.

    • Anonymous

      Hahahaha your ignorance makes me laugh. HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

  • Sam Ritz

    cool that the 90's era is noticing mac miller. He has tremendous natural talent, and is bringing the 90s style of rap back(the golden era) in style.

    • Sam Ritz

      idk, i think he's gonna be great. needs to build a little more range though.but pretty talented guy. if u want to rly see the future of hip hop, search asaad!

    • Anonymous

      The 90's era is not recognising him. A large amount of white people (and blacks that think Its cool that hes white and rapping) are. As far as Im concerned he can get a co-sign from everyone in Hip-Hop and I still wouldnt like his raps. He clearly hasnt practiced and is riding of the back of being white, young and in 2011! There were more talented youth before him, A+ is a solid example.

    • Anonymous

      nah hes the jewish wiz khalifa

    • Anonymous

      you smoke way to much crack. Mac miller is the white wiz kahlfia with different beats.

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