VIA: The first time Mac Miller appeared at the Forbes building in New York, he was a teenaged newbie with a handful of mixtapes and a buzzworthy debut album. He returned this past week with accomplishments befitting a veteran.
Now 21, Miller has appeared two years in a row on the FORBES 30 Under 30 list, picked up 2 million more Twitter followers and earned $6.5 million last year. On the heels of his first album, Blue Slide Park–which sold 144,000 copies in its opening week and became the first independently-released album to top the charts since 1995–Miller is set to launch his follow-up, Watching Movies with the Sound Off, on June 18th.
Despite plenty of interest from major labels, Miller has stayed with indie Rostrum Records, a decision he says was vital to the creation of his new album. In addition to getting a better royalty rate, he’s had the freedom to change his approach for Watching Movies.
His last album was more like the mother of all mixtapes–it didn’t have a major radio single or a slew of guest appearances–whereas his newest one features verses from the likes of Schoolboy Q, Jay Electronica and Tyler, The Creator.
“I think if I was with a major, I wouldn’t be able to put out this album, I’m pretty sure,” he says. “Actually, I’m pretty positive … I had a formula that was working beautifully, and then I just kind of ditched it. And so if I was on a major, they’d be like, ‘What are you doing?’”
Miller may not debut at No. 1 this time around, given that he’ll be going up against Kanye West‘s long-awaited album Yeezus, and he thinks he might not even make the Cash Kings list in 2013.
But don’t bet against him–with a summer of solo shows on the docket and a fall tour abroad with Lil Wayne, Miller figures to be much closer to grabbing a cash crown the next time he walks through our doors.