By Rob Markman
At the open of his 2010 track "The Spins," Mac Miller urges kids to follow their dreams, but the Pittsburgh MC does more than just give sound advice. Recently the Blue Slide Park rapper and his producer E. Dan linked up with aspiring MC Bobby Stewart, a.k.a. Yung Ka, to show him the ropes around the studio.
Stewart, who is suffering from a form of cancer called T-cell lymphoma, first met Miller at Mac's December 2011 homecoming concert in Pittsburgh after the rapper presented the Make-A-Wish Foundation with a check for $50,000.
"It's cool what I did, but the story here is him; the story is that there's a kid that's battling one of the gruesomest, toughest diseases in the world, yet he's courageous enough to talk about it in his music," Mac told MTV News when we caught up with him at the Bamboozle Music Festival in New Jersey on May 18. "This is someone who really talks about his sh-- in his music, like all the stages of cancer, to the point where it's uncomfortable for some to listen to because it's that much real, it's too real, it's that painful."
Miller served as a mentor for the 18-year-old rapper, but he didn't want to muddle the moment by guest-rapping on Ka's personal track. "I just wanted to do what I could do to mentor him and help him put a song together and give him what I know," he said. "I didn't want to step in on the song because to be real, he did a whole song about cancer, and then what am I gonna come in with on the third verse?"
The song hasn't been released yet, but last week Pittsburgh's WTAE Action News paid a visit to ID Labs, the studio where Mac, E. Dan and Ka recorded the track, and caught up with the up-and-coming MC.
"To be with Mac is a blessing," Ka said. "His lyrics are amazing. Hip-hop is my passion. To be able to be with Mac Miller ... he is a Pittsburgh legend. Wiz Khalifa shout-out."