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Beating the rap

BY MCKENNA PAULUS | NOVEMBER 14, 2013 5:00 AM

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At 21 years old, Huey Mack released a mix tape that ranked in the top 10 of all hip-hop music, without a major label supporting him. On that list, he joined the likes of Drake, Kanye West, and Jay Z. While enjoying the success of Pretending Perfection, his d├ębut full-length album, Mack is still hungry and looking for more accolades. Now, Iowa City audiences will have the chance to see Mack perform at 5 p.m. today at Blue Moose, 211 Iowa Ave. Admission ranges from $13 to $35.

Daily Iowan: What is the artistic approach you wanted to take with your latest album, Pretending Perfection?

Mack: I wanted to go away from the typical rapper stigma that you have to be better than everyone else. I just wanted to portray the fact that I'm just a normal, average, small-town kid.

DI: What was it like coming out of a smaller market like Morgantown, W.V.?

Mack: I really don't feel that it has any effect on anything. The way the Internet works these days, anybody can put the work in and make it.

DI: Who are some of your biggest influences in music?

Mack: When I first started, I was a huge Kanye fan; Late Registration and College Dropout was all I listened to. But I am not inspired by other people's music anymore; instead, [I'm inspired by] the approaches people have on the business side, really. Like what Macklemore was able to do was incredible.

DI: Your website describes your fans as "cult-like." Can you touch on that a little bit?

Mack: Well, that was a quote from another article. But you know my fans are very strong in the fact that they believe in me, and I just hit Billboard, with the No. 8 rap album. They are dedicated, and it's awesome.

DI: How did it feel to have your project charted on Billboard?

Mack: It definitely was a good feeling. It just made me feel like I have more work to do because I want No. 1.

DI: When did you decide to stop school and make music a full-time job?

Mack: I was enrolled into my junior year but started to tour, which led into my classes for about the first month. It was from there, that I stopped classes at West Virginia and toured full-time. It wasn't a hard decision.


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