Mac Miller Drops 3 Songs That Put His Innermost Thoughts On Display (Audio)
Mac Miller has been unseasonably quiet for more than a year. The Los Angeles, California-based Pittsburgher In late 2016, the REMember Music founder released The Divine Feminine, an LP that stands as some of Mac’s most original and best work in a career filled with artistic evolution. That effort reached #2 on the charts. Since then, Miller checked in with DJ Kay Slay alongside Kendrick Lamar and Kevin Gates on “Cold Summer,” in addition to spots with Thundercat and DJ Carnage. A once prolific production career (as “Larry Fisherman”) also went on hiatus in 2017.
In recent weeks, Mac Miller’s name has been in gossip headlines. Early collaborator-turned-girlfriend Ariana Grande confirmed that the pair had split, and suggested that her former partner’s lack of sobriety was a cause. The singer with a #3 charting breakup song “No Tears Left To Cry” is in the midst of marketing her fourth studio LP.
Miller stayed quiet through the swirl. However, he seemingly addresses he’s current lifestyle and some deeper feelings across three just-released songs: “Buttons,” “Small Worlds,” and “Programs.” In presentation and style, these records break from Miller’s recent sound and return him to the Watching Movies With The Sound Off period that garnered him serious attention as an MC and producer.
A lover of the abstract, Miller says a lot with lines like the opener to “Programs”: “I don’t got a reason to lie / They gave me the key to the sky / But I’d rather open my eyes / ‘Cause that’s what’ll keep me alive / Somethin’ that’s easin’ my mind / Please do not f*ck up my day / Everybody want a headline, I don’t got nothin’ to say / ‘Cept I’m comin’ back with the freshness / You know I love makin’ an entrance / Now now, don’t get defensive / Time is a matter of seconds,” he raps, possibly referencing the recent gossip and his time away from releasing music. The song also alludes to thinning out his circle and growing up from the party lifestyle that had been front-and-center since “mixtape Mac.”
On “Buttons,” Mac alludes to isolating himself. “Yeah alright days get mixed up / Schedules get switched up / Can’t be in two places at once / So, I take a hit of the spliff that I lit up / And forget I had to be anywhere at all / God damn how the mighty will fall,” he begins his first verse, as a famous person apart from the world around him—an idea also presented in the song’s chorus. He closes by making the song “Still the same dude that used to never be sure / When I was way more insecure, and I’d feel better before / No umbrellas never could weather the storm / No sympathy for the devil, too busy building a temple / I am looking beyond, leaving them looking / Hottest to grill, I’m putting them on when I be cooking / I keep on running if I have to / Medusa never turned me to a statue / No, I keep it moving, but keep it low / You can do your thing, sh*t, to each their own / But you better do something / We keep on pushing your buttons.”
“Small Worlds” is more of the same. “I know I probably need to do better / F*ck whoever / Keep my sh*t together / You never told me being rich was so lonely / Nobody know me, oh well / Hard to complain from this five star hotel / I’m always in a rush / I’ve been thinking too much, but / Keep it on the hush, no one need to know, just us,” Miller spits, again speaking of a lonely but wealthy life. He seems to focus on trying to “keep it together,” whether that is a good attitude, artistic spirit, or simply a healthy life.
It would be hard to classify these as happy records, even though there are flashes of humor and boasts. Like collabors Earl Sweatshirt and Action Bronson, Mac thrives on being honest and confronting his problems through verse. These raps are not complex, but even through a spectrum of interpretation are no doubt meaningful to one of the true Hip-Hop transformations of the last decade. Further, the three songs are released on Warner Bros. Records, showing that Miller’s major deal is intact.