Roger Kisby/Getty ImagesIn August, Donald Trump called Mac Miller "the next Eminem" after the young Pittsburgh rapper named his popular single after the real estate mogul. It turns out, The Donald might be right: According to Billboard.biz, Miller is on the verge of topping the Billboard 200 with his new album Blue Slide Park. It's not like Mac is doing it without any competition, since his debut disc is competing against the Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1 soundtrack from the Number One spot. With an estimated 180,000 copies sold, Mac's beating the Twilight series, which is amazing considering how those rabid Robert Pattinson fans are already waiting outside of movie theaters to see that movie. Blue Slide Park also stands to become the first independently released hip-hop album since Snoop Dogg's Doggystyle in 1995 to top the charts. So, who is Mac Miller?
The 19-year-old Pennsylvanian is the latest in a recent line of Jewish/partially Jewish rappers to reach the mainstream, following in the footsteps of Asher Roth, Mike Posner, and Drake. While Mac's fun-loving, early-Beasties vibe has caught on with high school hip-hop fans, Miller's ascension is also partially tied to the similar rise of Pittsburgh rapper Wiz Khalifa, who has seen his own popularity surge since "Black and Yellow"; Khalifa and Miller were both signed to the local Rostrum Records. Miller's mixtape K.I.D.S. was released in August 2010, and he next embarked on a sold-out tour. His real breakthrough came earlier this year with "Donald Trump," the highlight from his mixtape Best Day Ever. "Trump" managed to infiltrate the Billboard Hot 100, even though it was too explicit for even terrestrial hip-hop radio stations. Follow-up singles "Frick Park Market" and "Party on Fifth Ave." also charted.
Mac also scored the feature on Maroon 5's "Moves Like Jagger" remix. His next release, the On and On and Beyond EP in March 2011, debuted on the Billboard 200 at Number 55, setting the stage for Blue Slide Park's triumph this week. The album will likely enjoy one week at the top -- Drake's Take Care is a lock for Number One next week — but Miller's almost-overnight success is the clearest evidence that people are discovering music's future stars on YouTube and Tumblr (in the case of Odd Future), and not just what the record labels and reality singing competitions are force-feeding them. Someone get Trump a job at the new EMI; he apparently knows rappers as well as he knows real estate.