Interview: Mac Miller Speaks on Winning Complex's Man Of Next Year

With all the votes counted, we get on the horn with Complex's Man of Next Year.

Not Available Lead
Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

Not Available Lead

We're sure plenty of your favorite rappers read Complex, but no one is as adamant of a Complex fan as Mac Miller. He's always shouting out the brand and even tweeted about how he dreams of being on the cover. Well, he's getting his wish.

After winning Complex's Man of Next Year competition, we're teaming up with the Most Dope general and doing a full digital cover week with him. But before we do, we had to get on the phone with the Pittsburgh rapper to talk about winning the contest and why next year will be his. 

Interview by Tony Markovich (@T_Marko)

What was your initial reaction to getting nominated for the whole contest in the first place?
I was very excited. I really like Complex. When I found out that they nominated me, I was very geeked. I was very excited, because I never win anything, so I felt good about this one. I felt that this was my chance.

What did you think about your competition when you first started with Childish Gambino, Danny Brown, Big Sean and Action Bronson?
They’re all great artists. They’re friends of mine and I wish them the best for next year, but I was ready to go. It’s a competition.

When you found out, did you start thinking of a plan immediately for how you’re going to try and take the crown?
I didn’t want to go too crazy with a gameplan to win because it’s my feeling that you should just kind of let the people decide. But, I did want to make sure that all my fans knew about the voting. I was tweeting it. I didn’t want to do any like, “Hey if you vote for me, I’ll drop a song,” or nothing like that.

I just wanted to let them all know that they should go vote for me, and they did. They went out and they supported me great.

It’s kind of well known that your friends are pretty crazy and follow you, especially on social media and everything. Were you pretty confident in the competition?
I didn’t want to jinx myself, but yeah I felt like this was an opportunity for my fans to share their voice. I felt that this was a platform that my fans would come out and just show that they were there. I never liked to call anything before it happens or count my chickens before they hatch. I saw it happening, it didn’t seem out of reach. It seemed it made sense that it might actually happen, which is exciting.

What did you think of the response from the fans? Is it pretty overwhelming?
Yeah, it was overwhelming, dude. They really came out. I was on the computer a few minutes after Complex initially tweeted the voting. When the first wave came, I just figured it because I was the first person to put it up. Tomorrow it will level out, so and so forth. But nah, they kept going, they kept building. It was crazy to see that, because you have people like Big Sean on there who have huge followings. It just made me feel good because I’ve been doing a lot of chilling and laying low. It made me feel good seeing my fans were still ready to go hard for me.

So you said you haven’t really won many things. Does this compare to any other thing that you have won? Or how is this victory compared to any other victory in your life that you’ve achieved?
It gives me a good mindset to go into next year. I have a lot of stuff happening for me next year and it makes me just excited. That’s a very good way to start of the year. It’s my year.

I knew that when we got to the finals, I was pretty confident that I was gonna win because I don’t really see those people with the same online presence as I have. I felt the real challenge was up against all the other music people, but you never know. Complex has its complete own audience that’s separate from what Mac Miller’s audience is. To see them both coincide and work in my favor is pretty cool.

I think my fans are just crazy and it’s dope to see that. I feel like we’re doing the same thing that I was doing three years ago. It’s like the same situation, nothing’s changed on my end. It’s still just me directly having a relationship with my fans.

What does it mean for you as far as representing Complex a little bit, becoming their Man Of Next Year?
There’s definitely not any pressure, because you can’t feel pressure when some things like these happen. That will fuck you up. It’s kind of a thing where it helps motivate you. It shows you that there’s still so much to do and you still have an opportunity to grow. This isn’t where you plateau, this is where you continue to build. It’s exciting.

The first thing people tell you when you start doing this is, “Hey man, it’s not gonna last forever. You’re gonna get in, you’ll be hot, and then it will all go away.” It’s cool to try to see it continue to grow. The stuff that I’m working on now is a whole new ballpark, a whole new league of music. It’s very exciting for me and I’m very happy with the music I’m making and the stuff that I’m doing. This is another thing that helps drive that to help me continue to grow as an artist and as a person. To continue to reach and continue to be able to do this as a living, it never ceases to amaze me.

Going into 2013, what plans do you have and what are some of your goals for this next year that you hope to achieve?
As far as plans, I’ve got the album Watching Movies With The Sound Off...I don’t wanna just say this because it’s my next project, I’m actually trying to speak without much bias. But I really do feel that this is the most important project I’ve ever had.

The album is basically very introspective and very personal so it’s kind of throwing it all out there and seeing what happens. So it’s the album and then I’m going on tour with Wayne and 2 Chainz in Europe in March. I’m going to Australia in a few weeks by myself. I’m doing a whole bunch of things which are gonna be great, but the main focus is the album right now.

I’m really excited man. I’m very excited to grow and do more. I’ve been doing a lot of writing and I’ve been doing a lot of production for other people and really getting into every angle of music, which is why I think this is fitting in the timeworks. People have looked at me like, “Hey here’s Mac Miller. It’s this rapper from Pittsburgh who got big because he made happy songs and had a good business plan,” and this and that. But this next year I think is the year where I really show the world all that I do and maybe only part of what I’m capable of, but a lot more of into how much I do.

It’s not just play a beat and do a song. I’m now starting to be behind the scenes of a lot of things. I’m starting to work on music from different angles, whether it be a writer or a producer. There’s a whole bunch of different things that I’m trying to do, and I’m not trying to do them on the big side to make money. I’m doing them strictly because it’s what I love to do.

How did you come about this show with MTV? Did they approach you or how did it happen?
Yeah, they approached me and said they were interested in doing a show. They wanted to do it around the time of the album, which worked out well for me because I’m not on the radio. I don’t have a bunch of money behind me, so things like this are good because they’re creative ways to get the word out.

What’s the format going to be? Is it just going to be following your life basically?
Yeah, it’s basically following my life. Basically, you could say. But, sometimes my life’s not interesting enough for them, so they make me go fishing. I didn’t want to go fishing, one of the producers came and said, “You wanted to go fishing.” That’s basically what it is. They just follow my life and when it gets boring they--because basically man all I do is I just sit in the studio all day.

It never gets boring for me because there’s so many different things to explore in the studio. The studio’s become the sanctuary that people have come in and found new things out about themselves, as weird as that sounds. But it’s true, I’m no different. I’ve made some crazy hard records and I’ve made a jazz album.

There’s infinite possibilities of what I can do there. Sometimes they’re like, “Hey dude, we can’t just sit here and film you in the studio all day.” So I have to go do exciting things with action.

Like fishing.
Like fishing. But hey, lowkey that was kind of real, because I wanted to go fishing. I’ve been working on this album very, very intensely because I’m so involved with it from the production side to the music side and it’s all right here. So at my house, I’m at the studio. I could be working on it while we’re speaking on it right now. I can work on it whenever. I’ve been so involved and just obsessed with it, that I kind of needed to go fishing.

It’s like in Men In Black 3, when the young Agent K to the Agent J is like, “We should chill for a second. Let’s go have some pie.” Yeah, fishing was like getting pie.

I’d like to discuss a little bit about the prizes of winning Man Of Next Year. First you got the jacket. Tell me your thoughts on winning the jacket.
That’s fucking tight dude. I haven’t seen it yet, but that’s tight. It’s cool that the jacket is like you get to wear your trophy out, or at least part of the trophy. I’m excited for that. I’m excited to see what Marc Ecko has up his sleeve with this jacket. I’m sure it’s very tight.

What about the Fisker? I saw you tweet a pretty excited tweet about it.
Yeah dude. The whole time I was talking to you about the jacket, I’m gonna admit and come clean about this, I was thinking Fisker in my head. Like the jacket is tight, like, “Fuck yeah,” my own Marc Ecko-designed varsity jacket. I’m sure it’s going to be fucking ill, but that’s a motherfucking car dude.

It’s a $100,000 car.
$100,000 car and I won it by a motherfucking landslide. The funniest shit ever, real quick anecdote, is that Schoolboy Q is over at the crib and I told him about the competition. He fucking voted for RGIII right in front of me. I told him, “Dude there’s a fucking car on the line. If I lose by one vote, I’m gonna fucking kill you.”

I guess him voting for RGIII just meant that he was very confident that I was gonna win. That’s my homie dude, like for real that’s a really good friend of mine. If he took away the Fisker from me, we would have had some problems.

But yeah, that’s a fucking car man. That shit is so crazy to me, that I actually won a car. I’m just excited to drive it, I’m excited to just fucking look at it. $100,000 car and it’s you guys along with a bunch of fans and voters basically just gave it to me. People don’t really give me much anymore and for good reason. I have to pay for a lot of stuff now, I can afford a lot more than I ever could before. No one really gives me anything anymore, but it feels good.

Good times and with Christmas coming up, it feels good. It’s like a gift.

How much do you know about the Karma?
This is the fucked up shit about that, everyone that I’ve talked to is like, “Yeah, that car is so fucking tight.” It looks so tight and I hear that it’s awesome. My dad has a Prius and I lowkey wanted an electric car, because the Prius is like the illest shit ever dude and I’m sure this is like forty times tighter than the Prius.’s another anecdote: Schoolboy Q is about to get a Prius because he’s a bitch. He was, he was about to get a Prius, but he doesn’t even know how to drive. He just loves the environment so much.

But, yeah I’m all excited when the competition and the voting goes up and I go online and there’s this dude that made a video where he’s driving in a Fisker and talking about it. It looks so tight, but then we realized that we couldn’t tell if the dude liked it or not, during the video. It was pissing us off. He kept on being like, “This car is very sexy, it’s really tight.” You can drive at whatever adjective he used.

Then randomly he’d be like, “But this car, I hate it.” We were like, “What?” I’ve got this horrible, contradicting car review YouTube video, so I need to fucking drive it. I don’t know much about it, except it’s good for the environment and it looks fast and bitches will want to give me head while I drive it, for sure. I feel like any chick will give me a blowjob, just off the car.

Latest in Music