Call it the battle of the books. Two Mac Miller books are on the way, and the rapper's family and associates don’t want you to buy the one written by journalist Paul Cantor.
Cantor has written for music publications like Rolling Stone and Billboard and is now writing Most Dope: The Extraordinary Life of Mac Miller.
On May 7, Mac Miller’s family and estate released a statement saying it came to their attention that Cantor’s book is available for pre-order, but it wasn’t authorized by them.
Seemingly trying to discredit his work, the Mac Miller camp said Cantor didn’t have a personal relationship with the rapper, and he had no “meaningful access to those closest to Mac Miller, such as his friends, family, and collaborators.”
According to the statement, Mac Miller's family and estate think Cantor launched pre-orders when he did to capitalize on interest in Donna-Claire Chesman’s The Book of Mac: Remembering Mac Miller.
Chesman is writing about Mac Miller with the blessing of the family and estate, and they say her book includes information from extensive interviews with people the rapper holds dear.
The family believes Cantor is trying to confuse consumers by launching pre-orders for his book. And the family is also upset that Cantor’s book is set to be released on January 18, 2022, the day before Mac Miller’s birthday.
Utilizing the rapper's birthday as a marketing tool is “exploitative and extremely disappointing,” they said in the statement.
Cantor pushes back
Cantor told Page Six the family’s statement was factually incorrect.
He claims he has spoken with Miller’s friends, people close to him, and people in the music industry. There were countless hours of long interviews, many of which were “emotional and revealing,” he said.
Furthermore, he said he notified the family of his intention to write the book from the start, but they didn’t want to be involved, a claim confirmed in the May 7 statement.
“The writer of this book was made aware at the onset of the process of writing this book that the family and friends of Malcolm were uncomfortable with him authoring this biography, yet he chose to proceed against our polite insistence that he not do disservice to Malcolm’s legacy through writing a book without legitimate primary sources.”
Family & Estate
According to Cantor, he respected that the family wanted no part of his book. But still, he’s a writer and he decided to move forward.
Two books, like it or not
“With that in mind, we urge those who wish to support Malcolm and his legacy to abstain from purchasing [Cantor’s] book,” the family and estate said.
To be clear, anyone buying any sort of Mac Miller merchandise at this point isn’t supporting the rapper. The closest you can come is supporting those he left behind.
Unfortunately for Mac Miller’s family, people have long produced articles, books, and movies without the consent of the subject’s relatives.
And many of the people doing that work have done so without a close personal relationship with the person they’re covering, especially in cases where the subject is deceased.
These things are not going to change. Just like apparently Cantor’s mind isn’t going to change about releasing his book.
Furthermore, if Cantor doesn’t have any close affiliation with Mac Miller as the family suggests, there’s nothing exploitative about using his birthday to gain traction for a book.
On the contrary, it’s a shrewd business move.
But the family-backed Chesman book has the first-to-market advantage.
Her book is reportedly set to be released on Oct 26, providing over two months to tap into the Mac Miller fanbase without competition from Cantor.
And it gives Chesman and her supporters time to establish a reputation for the book as a must-have.