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Remembering Mac Miller, Low-Key Hip-Hop Bellwether

Category: Entertainment,Music

Mac Miller, who died last week at 26, was a rapper and producer who evolved quickly and frequently. Each of his albums — which all debuted in the Top 5 of the Billboard chart — was different from the one before. He began as a teenage hip-hop classicist and grew into an experimentally minded aesthete.

And that was just his own music. He also intersected with several larger movements that have been shaping popular music over the past decade: the way that the internet has smoothed the path to fame on one’s own terms, without the mediation of major labels; how white rappers channel robust allegiance to hip-hop history as a means of securing acceptance; and the trend toward generating musical ideas with a collective, rather than in isolation.

On this week’s Popcast:

  • Eric and Jeff Rosenthal, the hip-hop sketch comedians who perform as ItsTheReal and host the podcast A Waste of Time With ItsTheReal

  • Sheldon Pearce, a contributing writer at Pitchfork

  • Eric Renner Brown, a freelance writer who contributes to Entertainment Weekly and Rolling Stone, among others


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