The return of Mac Miller is just over the horizon, with his fifth full-length studio album Swimming set for release on August 3. Ahead of the release, Mac sat down with Zane Lowe on Beats 1 on Apple Music to discuss his mental state and the making of the album, revealing that J. Cole had a hand in crafting the record’s sound.
“Nine, no, 95 percent of the songs were done in my room,” Mac told Lowe. “I went to Hawaii. Cole sent over two beats. You know, we had a conversation, and conversation is [the] most important part as long as you can have conversation you can make music… He sent over some tracks and I did [“Hurt Feelings”].
"[I] Brought it back to L.A. So a big thing that I do is like, I can never call a record done, so I take the record back and you know we're trying all types of different things on it. John Brion came and played on it. And then Dev Hynes came through... I was playing this big-ass grand piano, trying to like lay a piano part. I'm hating everything I'm doing and he walks in and I'm like, 'You know I've been trying to play this piano on the second part of this hook. Maybe you could you could try it... ' The first thing he does is like it's weird. He starts by doing like the same thing that I was playing and we're all like, 'No way,' and then we're like, 'Oh, maybe I was right, maybe it should have been my piano.' And then out of nowhere he starts going [imitates piano playing], and I was like, 'Never mind, that's the one we’re going to keep.'"
There's something to be said about an artist comfortably fiddling with 100 different ways to accomplish something, and accepting help with creative blocks. In this instance, Miller brought in British singer-songwriter and producer Dev Hynes (also known as Blood Orange) and veteran composer and instrumentalist John Brion (well-known in the hip-hop community for his work on Kanye's Late Registration album) to help him finish the track.
While we may not know what “Hurt Feelings” sounds like yet, based on the sonics of “Self Care” and “Small Worlds,” as well as Miller's own admission to Lowe that the album is focused on space and “what it means to be inside of a record,” it's safe to assume “Hurt Feelings” will be yet another experimental trip in the Mac Miller discography.