Mac Miller experiments with various sounds from jazz and EDM to explore themes of substance abuse, loneliness and depression. Something of a reintroduction for mac, the album showed that he wasn’t just a frat party bass machine. He was 23 at this point and was making serious changes to save his life. He captured where he was headed with lyrics like, “Everybody saying I need rehab/ So I’m speeding with a blindfold on/ It won’t be long before they watching me crash/ And they don’t wanna see that.” The album set him up for the canonization he’d receive in the second half of the 2010s.
Every generation has a voice. For many young people, Mac Miller was that voice. Starting as seemingly just another braggadocious white rapper, Mac matured to become one of the most thoughtful emcees of the 2010s. Mac’s music constantly evolved with each album sounding different from the last. He slowly moved away from underground-inspired rap like MF Doom toward jazzy lo-fi. “Faces” was his magnum opus. It was here that the darkness of his lifestyle was catching up to him and he was translating it into his music. After the mixtape, Mac endeavored to live a “cleaner” life as he hated being sober. He started dating pop star Ariana Grande and making an R&B album inspired by her. He would release another critically commercially successful album in August 2018. Things were good for Mac. Struggling with substance abuse and depression for much of his young life, Mac died in September 2018 of an overdose due to a bad batch of drugs made with fentanyl.