Mac Miller is a white rapper rapper from Pittsburgh who seemingly came out of nowhere and has blown up over the past few years. Miley Cyrus is a former childhood star turned pop singer and the daughter of country music has been Billy Ray Cyrus. You may not see the similarities at first, but they are there.
Miley's recent behavior has been all over the internet. She is constantly trying to shed the Disney character image and convince everyone that she is a grown up and to take her serious. Her methods vary from crazy hair styles and outfits to provocative music videos to twerking on Robin Thicke at the VMA's.
While Miley's attempts to validate her status as a grownup and serious musician are anything but subtle, Mac Miller is doing the same thing in a slightly subtler way. Mac's early work could be described, and usually is, as college frat rap. It would not be uncommon to walk into a fraternity party and hear Mac's voice blaring from the speakers. His biggest fan base consisted largely of frat kids and middle class white kids who think smoking weed makes them look cool. You can tell from his recent album that he is trying to gain more credibility and be taken more seriously within the hip hop community. He had a number of credible features on his latest album including Earl Sweatshirt, Jay Electronica, and Ab-Soul. These are not household radio rap names, they are acclaimed underground hip hop artists. This is an attempt to be taken serious with real hip hop fans as well as other rappers, and an attempt gain a more diverse fan base.
This quest to be taken more serious and gain credibility is even present in the way he dresses in his recent music videos. In his video for his song Object in the Mirror, Mac is seen wearing a King Krule shirt. King Krule is an indie rock crooner from London who is adored by music websites such as Pitchfork, a site which gave Mac's previous album a less than favorable review. King Krule fans probably don't listen to Mac Miller and the majority of Mac Miller fans probably don't even know who King Krule is, but that could change after they see the video.
Whether or not Mac's subtle attempts have worked is still yet to be determined. While he may not be twerking on Robin Thicke and gyrating on a foam finger placed between his legs, at least not in public on national TV, he is still desperately trying to shed a former image of himself and be taken more serious. Whether or not his attempts are successful is still up in the air, although his name being included in Kendrick Lamar's jaw dropping verse on Big Sean's "Control" might be evidence enough that it is working.