At long last, one of Mac Miller’s best bodies of work is finally available on all streaming platforms. I’ve been waiting and manifesting for this moment forever, so a review was an absolute must.
4. Friends & Angel Dust
These two songs play into each other but I’ve always treated them as one big song.
In these two songs, we get a raw Mac that tells tales of his experiences in a concerning but somewhat playful manner (If that makes sense). I think the playfulness also comes from the production. The punchlines either have you in laughter or saying “Jesus, Mac.” These songs tell intriguing stories!
Man, “Malibu” is heavy. It may not have the most replay value but it’s an important record.
I could really break down how it makes so much sense for “Malibu” to follow up the two previous records, “Friends” & “Angel Dust,” but maybe another time.
“Malibu” is loaded with lines that communicate the mood and energy of the mixtape. In the song, Mac shits on himself and talks about flirting with death while still trying to continue to be triumphant in rap. It’s a telling track. Listen closely.
2. Here We Go
Make sure this track is what you hear within the first few seconds of my biopic. (Kidding…Sort of)!
This is one of my favorite Mac records for many reasons. First and foremost, I love hearing Mac on Jazzy instrumentals; it’s always a special moment. I also like how Mac speaks on his legacy and success as well as reflecting on his come up in life and rap. He says things such as:
I’m underrated, don’t fit on nobody’s playlist
If I ain’t in your top ten then you a racist
Cocaine ether creates a strange creature
They wasn’t hearin’ me ’til I fucked with a Brainfeeder
I’m still playin’ it out the same speakers
I did it all without a Drake feature
This man knew that he was a beast.
Surprised? Probably not.
This is one of the most notable songs off Faces. It’s also one of his biggest songs in his catalog. In “Diablo,” Mac showcases undeniably elite rapping (You can’t tell me Mac don’t be spitting!!!).
I’ve always felt like Mac’s best songs are the ones that aren’t for the charts.
SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN
1. Inside Outside (4/5)
2. Here We Go (5/5)
3. Friends (ft. ScHoolboy Q) (4/5)
4. Angel Dust (4/5)
5. Malibu (4/5)
6. What Do You Do (3/5)
7. It Just Doesn’t Matter (4/5)
8. Therapy (4/5)
9. Polo Jeans (4/5)
10. Happy Birthday (4/5)
11. Wedding (4/5)
12. Funeral (4/5)
13. Diablo (5/5)
14. Ave Maria (5/5)
15. 55 (4/5)
16. San Francisco (4/5)
17. Colors and Shapes (4/5)
18. Insomniak (4/5)
19. Uber (4/5)
20. Rain (5/5)
21. Apparition (4/5)
22. Thumbalina (4/5)
23. New Faces v2 (4/5)
24. Grand Finale (4/5)
25. Yeah (4/5)
So much can be said about Faces. In my opinion, It’s Mac’s best project and his most underrated body of work. It’s the album where Mac “prophesized” his death. What also can be said is Mac was the most alive on this album. Correction: Mac found his freedom in Faces.
We get a very authentic version of Mac in Faces. Throughout the album, there were plenty of lines admitting to his suicidal tendencies, drug abuse, and anxiety. He states in “Malibu,” “and kill me now if I did it all for hip-hop (K-ch, blaow) / I might die before I detox.” It’s like he flourishes in this space where he’s damn near dead but sprouts and blooms like flowers growing out of concrete.
These days, Faces hits harder than ever. Across the mixtape, Mac covers everything within the scope of the human condition over a plethora of sounds. The production was amazing as we got some jazzy, some playful, and some very dark vibes. The production and sounds are so authentic on the album that Mac fans and non-casual Mac listeners can enjoy the variety presented here.
The features on Faces were dope. They represent many different types of artists. This tape originally was released in 2014, so seeing a Mike Jones feature then Rick Ross and Vince Staples features was kind of unexpected (I really wish we had more Vince Staples and Mac records). The features on this album and Mac’s features on his peers’ work remind me that he really had unlimited range as an artist. A true creative.
Mac has always been an above-average artist that seems to get overlooked. Hearing Faces again reminded me why I view him with such high regard. Faces is EASILY Mac’s most important body of work. I really could write a dissertation as to why and how it ties into his whole discography, but let me keep it simple with my final takeaway.
It took me seven years but I have come to understand that Faces represents a battle for peace while consistently battling the fear of death in pursuit of life and happiness. This project finally hitting streaming platforms is monumental because I think everyone should experience it.