by Chris Douglas
Mac Miller appears to be doing a whole bunch of cocaine. His newest release, Faces is a dark drug fuelled journey through the psyche of a studio rat, and it’s awesome.
Track after track I was impressed. I never knew Mac Miller could rap so well. From the vaguely poetic bars, to the outwardly absurd, Mr. Miller never fails to commit some lyrical miracles. He flexes his story telling abilities on tracks like “Friends”, where he details his experience trying to get cornrows only to be told that his hair was too short. These brief endearing anecdotes are an interesting juxtaposition to the constant drug abuse reverences. On the song “Angel Dust” Mac describes, “being too fucked to function,” while both simultaneously condoning and denouncing the drug, PCP, from which the track gets it’s title. Needless to say, this is not the same high-school rapper that we heard when Mac Miller released “Kids.” The moments of playfulness featured on this mixtape almost pay homage to the goofy kid Mac Miller once was. However, he has gone through a metamorphosis, both sonically and lyrically. These new sounds are something more akin to his last album Watching Movies With the Sound Off a surprisingly melancholy work. This time around he has gotten much more abstract and strange. For lack a better word, Mac Miller has gotten cooler.
A great aspect of this project is the feature selection. Some of the stand out guest verses were the grizzly Rick Ross verse on “Insomniak” (“Mac Miller my real nigga”), and Earl Sweatshirt’s distant but heart felt verse on “New Faces v2”. Mac Miller is definitely hanging around the right crew musically speaking. His relocation to Los Angeles placed him in the centre of a lyrical renaissance and done nothing but help him improve.
If you weren’t a huge fans of Mac Miller’s early works, I highly recommend listening to Faces. It is one the most intresting and well put together hip-hop projects I have heard this year.