Mac Miller loves music. I can’t name another rapper with a SoundCloud that includes a song featuring Prodigy and a cover of Bright Eyes’ “Lua.” Mac being a studio rat, he creates with the obsessiveness of an addict—producing, rapping, singing with influences from modern to ancient sources. The passion he exudes for creating can be seen in the way he evolves, Mac doesn’t suffer from stagnancy, it’s his love for music that keeps him striving to make the best music possible. The Divine Feminine, his upcoming album, was made with love on the brain.
In his latest interview with I-D mag, Miller opens up about how love hasn’t been a topic tackled enough in his music inspiring the idea to focus an entire project around the subject. The experience of love, capturing in all its beauty and pain, lust and affection, heart pounding and heartbreaking.
His comments made me think of Andre’s The Love Below, but he did more singing than rapping. The last time I recall a rapper dedicating an entire project to love was Ghostface Killah’s Ghostdini Wizard Of Poetry In Emerald City. Ghostface went the R&B route, features like Raheem DeVaughn, Jack Knight, Estelle, John Legend, and Fabolous helped to assist in setting that mood. Based on Mac’s features—Anderson. Paak, CeeLo Green, Kendrick Lamar, and Bilal—the album could be more of a funk/R&B fusion. No matter how they might sound, at their heart, the two artists had a similar concept—capturing the very definition of love in rap form.
This vision of love unfolds in stages, beginning with beauty. "To me, love is the most beautiful emotion and no matter what, you're overwhelmed. It's like nothing exists anymore. That's where we start — that blinding, overpowering love high," he says. "It gets into sex, issues, resolve; it goes through this path that applies not just to love of another person, but love in general, the feminine energy of the planet." Despite its journey into such varied landscapes, Miller maintains, "there's always hope. No matter what. I don't give up at any point on the record; there's no, 'fuck this it's a wrap.' I'll always fight for it.
Women are at the center of the rap universe—fans, mothers, girlfriends, wives, and groupies. Very rarely do you hear a song where a woman isn’t mentioned. Sadly, women aren't always represented in the best light. Love is a far more sensitive subject than sex, rap tends to lean closer to sensual than intimate. There’s far more fucking and sucking than kissing and touching, one night stands more than long-term companionship, putting women in a more promiscuous light.
For every rapper that’s happily married, there’s a dozen making music about how their hearts and feelings are frozen. You can find that perspective in any music genre, rap isn’t alone in this sense, but the subject matter is one that is related to rap artists. Mac Miller isn’t doing anything revolutionary with this approach—he isn’t turning water into Hennessy, or making a solo Andre 3000 rap album appear, but he’s doing something rather rare—dedicating an entire album to the art of love.
To give Mac a bit of credit, love exists throughout his catalog. The song “ROS” from GO:OD AM is a letter to a woman, a lovely song that confesses his feelings for her. “Youforia,” the last song on Watching Movies With The Sounds Off also showcases how Mac uses music as a canvas to pour his heart over. These records aren’t on the caliber of “Dang!” and “We,” but they are a great reference point for where he was and far he has come. The Divine Feminine will be Mac Miller getting into his feelings, diving deep into the very psyche of love, and the more I hear, the more excited I become.
Love is in the air, cuffing season is upon us, and Mac Miller is giving us a soundtrack to remind us of what it means to love.
By Yoh, aka Yoh3000, aka @Yoh31