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Mac Miller Recounts His Humble Pittsburgh Beginnings to Billboard

MacMiller
Billboard

Mac Miller –- Malcolm McCormick on his birth certificate — is the latest Billboard cover star, and in the accompanying feature story, the rapper recounts his humble beginnings and his still-happening rise to fame. Turns out he has a lot of background and historical similarities to some of our favorite superstars.

Like Wiz Khalifa, Miller was born in the working class city of Pittsburgh! Miller was born into a Jewish household to a photographer mother. Despite their faith, she sent Miller and his older brother to Catholic school, since the education at a parochial school is top notch. Lady Gaga also endured a Catholic school education, so Miller has quite a bit in common with his fellow pop stars.

Miller, who copped to never being a “school-oriented person,” got his high school diploma from Taylor Allerdice High, the same institution that Khalifa attended! During these formative years, Miller was most inspired by acts like Sugarhill Gang, A Tribe Called Quest and Beastie Boys, all of which influence his sound today.

Miller played his first show at age 16, at a bar in the PGH called Moondog’s, which didn’t let a lot of his homies in due to their underage status — but by this time, Miller was on his way.

In 2011, Miller is a rising star and reading some of his own press. He is happy to be featured in the pages of the rags he used to read, but he doesn’t love the classification that comes with the articles. “People try to categorize me,” Miller said. “I love the fact that I’m in some of my favorite magazines … but, in all reality, your opinion doesn’t mean any more than anybody else’s.”

One particular term that makes him bristle? “Frat rapper.” He also doesn’t like being dubbed “bubblegum pop,” either! He’s just here to craft his brand of hip-hop. “I’ll never pretend I have an inspiring story like certain people,” he said. “There are people here to tell inspiring stories, people like Kendrick Lamar or Big K.R.I.T. who have deep messages about things that … I can’t say. It’s not my place to say,” Miller said. “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.”

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