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Mac Miller’s come-up is unparalleled.

Aside from being one of the first white rappers to reach a pinnacle of fame even remotely close to that of Eminem’s – without a major label backing him – Mac Miller wrestled control of his own brand and talents and took them on the road, earning a little over $6 million in 2012 from touring and doing shows. 

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But it turns out there was a dark side to Miller’s fame. 

Complex has chosen the 21-year-old Pittsburgh native as their cover star for the Man of the Year issue. 

In the corresponding article, Mac opens up about his trouble with abusing lean before quitting cold turkey, what his move out of Pittsburgh meant to him, and reflects on the fate of his last album. 

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Check out some excerpts from the interview below. 

On his former addition to lean: 

Over six grueling months he played 53 shows, including 20 in Europe. To help manage the stress he started using promethazine. Somewhere along the way he became addicted. “I love lean; it’s great,” says Mac. But during the Macadelic tour things got out of hand. “I was not happy and I was on lean very heavy,” he admits. “I was so fucked up all the time it was bad. My friends couldn’t even look at me the same. I was lost.”

On his decision to move to L.A.: 

“L.A. is me stepping out and being like, ‘I’m in control of my own life,’” explains Mac, who blew up so young that he literally grew up in the rap game. “When I was 18, living in my mom’s house—my mom is still my mom so she’s gonna clean my room, make me food, and take care of me.” Things are different now. “My mom’s not here if I get in trouble.”

On his album Blue Slide Park: 

“It’s a good album,” says Mac now. “It’s not groundbreaking, but at the same time what is groundbreaking? Kids come up like, ‘I had cancer and went through chemo listening to Blue Slide Park every day.’ That makes me feel good. There’s great records on that album. I don’t regret Blue Slide Park at all.” 

Head over to Complex to read the full Mac Miller cover story. 

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