I’m always a slight bit amazed by the type of OG talent Mac manages to collab with. I mean I understand the benefits from Cam’s (or others) point of view, as collabing with the young Pittsburgh MC gives them the chance to broaden their audience and potentially make them a more familiar face to a group who you wouldn’t usually be seen bumping some Killa (namely, college age girls, aka what now makes up a nice percentage of Mac’s fan base). With the type of success this has brought Malcom, who wouldn’t want a piece of the pie?
To some extent this also worries me. Mac’s fan base is undoubtedly made up of a lot ride or die fans, but a huge portion is also made up of those kids whose liking for Mac Miller stems more from him being a “fad” than a musician. You’ve undoubtedly ran across countless people like this. You know, the girl who has his entire discography, but the only tracks that ever get graced with a click of the play button are the pop/party ones. See, there’s really one big problem with fads: they don’t last.
Now I’m not saying Mac isn’t going to be relevant from this point out. He clearly wants to be a true MC, not just a pop-rapper, and a track like this, along with countless other works in his discography, are strong proof of that. To me, it is critically important for his longevity that he continues to attempt to appeal to hip-hop heads like myself, instead of getting caught up producing music tailored towards the teenage girl portion of his fan base.
Hip-hop is different than nearly any other industry for a handful of reasons, perhaps none more important than the fact that you never have to reach Top 40 radio level success in order to have a long, successful career. In fact in some cases, it may even be detrimental to reach that level, because it becomes far too easy to fall into that “fad” category. How many rappers that took the radio by storm with a smash hit (or five) over the last decade can no longer be accounted for? Does anyone know where Mike Jones is today? What about Chingy? Or J-Kwon? Or Hurricane Chris? Or the Ying Yang Twins? But then there are fellas like Curren$y, who has never and will never be on a Top 40 station, cruising around in a Ferrari like it’s nothing (and to him, it really isn’t).
At the end of the day, the rap game is just a different beast. Success and radio success are far from synonymous, and the artists who have a true, loyal fan base, are the ones who eventually prosper. Mac is incredibly unique, largely based on his independent status, and you cannot find another artist in hip-hop history with a career that parallels his, which makes predicting what he’ll do from here on out impossible. I believe Mac Miller holds all the cards to make himself a relevant force for a long time to come, it’s just a matter if he plays them correctly.
OK, holy fuck, talk about getting sidetracked. This was really just an abbreviated version of my opinions, as there are lots of things I left out, but that’s about enough of my rant. However, if you’d like to get in a little debate about this, feel free to hit me up on twitter (the follow button is at the bottom of the post, per usual) or even hit up that comment section. In the mean time, enjoy the track.
P.S. Feel free to substitute Mac Miller’s name with his fellow Rostrum artists name, Wiz Khalifa, in almost any line of that spiel.
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