Mac Miller, the son of a non-Jewish Father and a Jewish Mother hit #1 on Billboard this week with his new album “Blue Slide Park.” Miller, 19, whose real name is Malcolm McCormick, uses his Mother’s maiden name and has had a Bar Mitzvah. No, he’s not related to Matthew Miller aka Mattisyahu, nor is he related to Kenny McCormick, a fictional character on South Park. But never mind that Jewy stuff. What’s really news worthy about this Pittsburgh rapper is the fact that this is the first time in 16 years that an artist represented by an independent label hit the coveted #1 spot on Billboard after selling over 144,500 albums. Also noteworthy is the fact that 76% of the album sales were digital.
How did Miller and his relatively small label, Rostrum, run by Benjy Grinberg, do it? Since there was no big publicity budget, they relied on hard work and social media. Miller has over 1.1 million followers on twitter, over 35 million views for â€œDonald Trump,â€ the video for his an album he released for free last spring, and, when he’s not recording, he’s doing shows 6 days a week – nurturing the perfect real world and virtual community that set the stage for his stunning Billboard debut. In fact, he rejected big label offers, preferring to stick with “the home team” – a decision that seems to be a wise one, allowing him to make rapid decisions and cultivate fervent, grass roots support.
Below are his Youtube videos for “Donald Trump” and “Blue Slide Park.” Given his laid back dope smokin’ persona, it’s pretty much a given that you won’t see him at either TribeFest, the GA or at a Presentense event, but keep an eye on this boy. He may come off all gangsta but he is a legitimately talented musician who plays piano, guitar, drums and bass. He’s also clever. You know, like all those Jews…
- Young Rapper Rides Internet to the Top of the Chart [NYT]
- Mac Miller Puts Indies, and Pittsburgh, On Top [WSJ]
- 19 Year White Jewish Rapper From Pittsburgh Has Number 1 Album [Showbiz411]
- Jewish teen rapperâ€™s first album tops Billboard chart [JTA]