DJ Clockwork, Mac Miller’s official DJ, woke up at around 4 p.m. on Nov. 2. He casually walked out of the lobby of the Holiday Inn, toothbrush in hand, drove to The Catalyst — where he was headlining that night — and lit a blunt.
With retro eyeglasses, a “the color granddaddy purple” shirt, a sleeve of tattoos, and a solitary golden owl hanging from his neck, DJ Clockwork is ready to perform another show on the Most Dope Tour.
Clockwork, a Cincinnati native, has been touring for the past two years with Mac Miller, a fresh-faced young rapper new to the hip-hop scene.
“We all feel like we’ve known each other for years we’re so comfortable with each other,” Clockwork said. “He lives above me on the tour bus. We call the bunks ‘cribs’.”
The duo’s album, “Blue Slide Park,” was released on Tuesday.
At only 19 years old, Mac Miller has already made his name as an internet sensation.
“Mac’s got a million followers,” Clockwork said. “That’s a fucking lot.”
The group went viral after posting just a few videos on Youtube.
“Our internet presence is crazy,” Clockwork said. “VH1 and MTV pay attention to things like that and caught wind of us.”
A few weeks ago, Clockwork and Miller performed at the MTV Online Music Awards in front of 100 handpicked, devoted fans.
Clockwork, who has been DJing for the past 11 years, has coined his own genre, “Time Zones,” also the name of a mixtape he released over two years ago.
“When I DJ, I play music from around the world,” Clockwork said. “I’ll play some Brazilian hip-hop with some French house — I just try to mix everything in.”
The duo believes musical appreciation is international. At each show they promote enjoying a variety of music, not just one genre.
“If you listen to some hip-hop, then one day put on some fucking Mozart,” Clockwork said. “Just be open.”
Clockwork, who’s 26, said he admires his younger musical partner.
“Mac is one of the most talented 19-year-olds out right now,” he said. “A lot of people don’t know he produces and writes a lot of his own music.”
With lyrics like “one day I’ll be so rich I can buy my moms a house” — from his song “Oy Vey” — and uplifting choruses like that in “Live Free,” Miller draws a younger crowd who can both relate to the music and be inspired by it. In “Nikes on My Feet,” he talks about how good it feels to get a brand new pair of Nikes. Miller looks like he could be any one of the kids standing in the crowd, wearing high-top Air Jordans and a snap-backed hat.
Clockwork explains people used to tell Miller he would never be a rapper, but Miller proved them wrong. Now he’s touring the country, performing sold-out shows. The kids at these shows look up to him, thinking, “if he can do it, I can do it,” Clockwork said.
“If you want to do something, be sincere about it,” Clockwork said, “and don’t stop until you burst through yellow tape and you’re the first-place winner.”
After the show, groups of fans stood behind The Catalyst in the hopes of catching a glimpse of Mac Miller and DJ Clockwork. A group of girls wearing handmade glitter shirts with “Mac Miller” written on them came all the way from Sacramento to see him.When asked why they like him, they responded unanimously, “He’s our age!”