2018 CREDITS 3
THROUGH THE YEARS
Releases Best Day Ever and On and On and Beyond mixtapes.
Mac Miller begins taking his music seriously and starts recording music.
Releases first album Blue Slide Park which becomes the first independently distributed debut album since 1995.
Releases The Jukebox: Prelude to Class Clown and The High Life.
Mixtape called But My Mackinâ€™ Aintâ€™ Easy is released under the name EZ Mac.
Mixtape I Love Life, Thank You is released.
Makes it to the final four in an MC competition, Rhyme Calisthenics.
Embarks on the Blue Slide Park tour.
2009 2008 Rap group, The Ill Spoken, which consists of Mac Miller and fellow Pittsburgh rapper, Beedie release the How High mixtape.
2011 2010 Signs to Rostrum Records, a Pittsburgh-based record label. K.I.D.S mixtape is released under Rostrum Records. Embarks on the Incredibly Dope Tour selling out every location.
Macadelic is released and goes on album tour. Tours throughout Europe with Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz in October on the Under the Influence of Music Tour. Released jazz EP called You under the name Larry Lovestein & The Velvet Revival on November 21.
MAC MILLER WIKIPEDIA
Wins two awards at the Pittsburgh hip hop awards.
THROUGH THE YEARS
Reality show called Mac Miller and the Most Dope Family is released on MTV2. Run-On Sentences Vol. 1 is released under the name Larry Fisherman.
Miller spends the year performing at festivals such as Coachella in California and Splash! in Germany while also working in the studio.
Millerâ€™s major label debut, GO:OD AM is released on September 18, his third studio album.
Releases Watching Movies with the Sound Off. Founds record label called REMember Music.
Embarks on the GO:OD AM Tour.
2013 2014 Releases solo mixtape called Faces independently. Mixtape Pink Slime with Pharrell Williams is released. Signs recording contract and distribution deal for REMember Music with Warner Bros. Second season of Mac Miller and the Most Dope Family airs.
2017 2016 Fourth studio album, The Divine Feminine is released on September 16 and reaches #2 on Billboard 200. Tours the Divine Feminine album.
2018 Fifth studio album Swimming is released and debuts at #3 on Billboard 200. The 26-show Swimming Tour is cancelled. Malcolm James McCormick dies of an accidental drug overdose on September 7.
MAC MILLER WIKIPEDIA 5
The Albums That Changed Mac Miller's Life
Bob Dylan - The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan (1963) “My dad was a big Bob Dylan fan – he’d come into me and my brothers’ room with a guitar and play his songs. I’ve loved this album ever since I was young. When I was a kid, I did a lot of sitting in my room and listening to music, dealing with the world and my perspective of it. Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right, A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall and especially Girl From The North Country – I was obsessed with that song. It all helped me see that you didn’t need a whole lot of things to make an impact. Sometimes you just need a guy and a guitar speaking his own truths.”
Miles Davis - Bitches Brew (1970) “I knew about Kind Of Blue when I was younger, because I used to play Blue In Green on the piano all the time. But I never dived into Bitches Brew until I was living at The Sanctuary, which is a crib I had. You put it on and it feels like you’re in the room with everyone – it sounds like they’re sitting right next to you. There’s a free movement to it, a lack of rules, which is so beautiful. You sometimes get in a place where you start thinking too much what song you’re making, and then you listen to this and think, ‘OK, I can go wherever I want to go.’”
Al Green - I’m Still In Love With You (1972) “Al Green has the greatest voice ever, no question. If I could sound like anyone else on the planet, it would be him. But the textures on this record have such an identity, too – as soon as you hear the textures of the drums and the organ and the guitar, you know it’s an Al Green record immediately. You can touch it, it’s beautiful. I’m Glad You’re Mine is my favourite song on the record – the melody and the strings are unreal. It makes you feel like the world is a beautiful place. Every time I put it on, I’m happier. You need a record like that to feel better about the world.”
WRITTEN BY NIALL DOHERTY
Outkast - Aquemini (1998, LaFace) “That’s the bar for me, it’s my guiding light. I heard it when I was super-young, maybe 10 or 12. My brother had it and the cover was just so unbelievable that I grabbed it. I remember locking myself in my grandma’s guest room and listening to it on repeat all day. Being that young, and having an idea of what I thought music should be, then hearing Aquemini completely shifted things. It’s a whole, complete album, not just a collection of songs. Hold On, Be Strong is such an incredible opening track. It makes me feel like I’m in water, which is my favourite feeling."
In the current issue of Q, Mac Miller talks about the records that shaped him, recounting how hearing Outkast's Aquemini aged 12 changed how he thought about music and explaining why Radiohead's In Rainbows made him reconsider how his own records should sound. After the rapper's tragic death last week, here is Miller's Albums That Changed My Life published online in full.
WRITTEN BY NIALL DOHERTY
Erykah Badu Baduizm (1997) “I don’t like the whole business of going, ‘This era was best’, cos there’s amazing music in every single decade. But there’s certain records that definitely shaped me in my younger years, and this is one. Some of my favourite music is music that can quiet my mind. That’s a tough thing to do. But the first time I heard this, I was immediately at peace. I’ve used it to go to sleep so many times – this shit tucks you in. And by the way, if an album can make me sleep, that’s top tier for me. Her voice is like nothing else – it doesn’t sound human. It sounds like elevated understanding.”
Radiohead - In Rainbows (2007) “It’s a joint that my friends told me to listen to, and it completely changed my whole view of how I wanted things to sound. The guitar sounds on Weird Fishes and Reckoner are so watery, in a great way. It sounds like a band met up, pressed ‘record’ and just played the whole thing in one take. I’ve never met them, but my mom has. We were both playing at the Bonnaroo festival. She saw Thom Yorke in the elevator. He must have liked her, cos he introduced her to the rest of Radiohead. She had no idea who they were: ‘Are you guys playing Bonnaroo? So is my son.’”
John Lennon - John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band (1970) “I only listened to the whole album for the first time last year and it fucked me up. Just the rawness of it, the pure emotion of songs like Mother and Isolation. It’s another album that shows you don’t need a lot. He’s not the greatest piano player in the world, but he hits you in a way that you don’t expect. That’s inspiring. I know there are people that are way, way better at the piano than me, but there’s something special about what you do, yourself, with your own hands. It’s one of those albums you want to listen to from front to back, no interruptions.”
Big L - Lifestylez Ov Da Poor & Dangerous (1995) “He was a rapper from New York [who died in 1999, aged 24], and when I was 15, that’s who I wanted to sound like. I was matching his cadences, trying to be like him – a super-grimy underground rapper. I thought I was so cool, cos I was up on some shit that no one else my age was up on. Put It On was the big hit and Jay-Z was on Da Graveyard, but Let ’Em Have It L used to be my ringtone. Dude, I was obsessed. I actually started the very first Big L Facebook fan page. I think it’s still up and running today. I had to give up my administrator’s rights, though.”
The Style of Mac THE EXHIBIT FEATURES SOME OF THE ICONIC PIECES OF CLOTHING AND ACCESSORIES THAT DEFINED THE ARTIST. Tiger printed shirt from tour.
A classic white t-shirt and baseball cap.
Floral jacket from the Dang music video.
Mac Miller was known for his Pittsburgh Penguins hat and graphic tees.
Colour blocked windbreaker from a photo shoot with Vulture.
His style was casual with some fun patterns thrown in.
His classic denim jacket.
THE DIVINE FEMININE
Mac Miller's 'The Divine Feminine' Is About the Stages of Love
THE DIVINE FEMININE
LOVE IS THE CONCEPT THAT MAC MILLER WILL BE EXPLORING ON HIS FORTHCOMING “THE DIVINE FEMININE” ALBUM. 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.
WRITTEN BY YOH PHILLIPS
"TO ME, LOVE IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL EMOTION AND NO MATTER WHAT, YOU’RE OVERWHELMED. IT’S LIKE NOTHING EXISTS ANYMORE. 11
Review: Mac Miller Sheds His Frat-Rap Persona on ‘Swimming’ WRITTEN BY MOSI REEVES
THE SELF-DESCRIBED “CHILL DUDE” WEATHERS PERSONAL WRECKAGE ON THE MOST IMPACTFUL ALBUM OF HIS CAREER.
With his fifth album Swimming, Mac Miller has finally abandoned his frat-rap reputation for good. Sonically, it’s a continuation of 2016’s The Divine Feminine, with a silky, deep vibe redolent of the L.A. alternative soul scene. But while that album tried to create a romantic vibe and mostly ended up vague and unfocused — with the Anderson .Paak-augmented single “Dang!” a terrific exception — the emotional stakes seem higher on Swimming, which he assembled with help from onetime Kanye West collaborator Jon Brion. As Miller struggles with introspection after a high-profile breakup with Ariana Grande (and a subsequent arrest for driving while intoxicated), he reveals himself to be a sympathetic, even winning presence. It becomes clear why the self-described “chill dude” has become a regular presence in the top 10 of Billboard’s albums chart despite never landing a major radio hit. Until now, Mac Miller has been something of an enigma. His biggest song to date is a 2011 platinum-certified mixtape track that’s regrettably named after the president. (Rae Sremmurd of “Up Like Trump” fame can empathize.) More importantly, he’s an undeniably talented songwriter (and producer, under the name Larry Fisherman). There’s something alchemical about his ability to create unassuming yet entertaining hit albums, helping him craft the hip-hop equivalent of a middle-class existence. But with their reductive themes of success, money, sex, and occasionally wondering what it all means, they’ve all felt decidedly low stakes. Unlike, say, Earl Sweatshirt, Miller isn’t the type of rapper who rhapsodizes about details — the cities he travels
to, the women he dates, the famous people he kicks it with. Instead, he excels at crafting a mood he can carry throughout an entire album. On Swimming, he makes frequent reference to keeping his head above water…or not. “Got my head underwater, but I ain’t in the shower, and I ain’t getting baptized,” he raps over the sluggish, dancehall-inflected trip-hop of “Jet Fuel.” We can only guess that it’s life in general that’s overwhelming him – he never clarifies. But for every admission that something is getting the better of him, he responds with fragile self-confidence. “But I never run out of jet fuel,” he boasts. Yet give him credit for admitting that his rapper pose is simply that. The murky, slightly depressive tone of Swimming, from the halting vocals and cracked, electronic blues of “Perfecto” and “Wings” to the downcast, Dam-Funk-produced groove “What’s the Use?” (which has a subtle, nearly imperceptible cameo from Snoop Dogg), is an acknowledgment that Miller is weathering some kind of personal wreckage. And he manages to shift musical tones just enough to hold our interest: when the Alexander Spit-produced “Wings” threatens to slip into a torpid flow, he drops the buoyant if slightly melancholy horn-fueled boogie of “Ladders.” “Sometimes, sometimes I wish I took a simpler route/ Instead of having demons as big as my house,” says Miller on “2009.” If he could surface those demons with more vivid details and add texture to his lyrics instead of simply using them as a rhythmic device, then he may have a genuinely classic album in him yet. But if Swimming doesn’t quite achieve greatness, it connects.
WRITTEN BY MOSI REEVES 13
PHOTO BY CLARKE TOLTON
“...HE’S AN UNDENIABLY TALENTED SONGWRITER...”
PHOTO BY CHRISTAAN FLEBER
THANK YOU, MAC MILLER. 17
I did not want to have to write this, or anything like this, ever. Now that I am writing, I cannot imagine doing anything but, and that is a gift you gave me. Ever since you were Easy Mac with the cheesy raps, ever since you flashed brilliant grins on Blue Slide Park, you gave me the gift of language and poetics in a way no one else ever has. I was 17 and scared in a hospital bed and you had my back, man. You and your punchlines and Big L impersonations and parties on 5th Ave took my mind off brain tumors and possibilities of chemo and spinal taps and surgeries. You took me to Pittsburgh and you rolled me a blunt, and you made me happy again. I was 17 and thought my life was over, and with Blue Slide Park, you showed me all the ways life could be lived. I was woefully depressed and didn’t know the first thing about proper therapy channels, medication, admitting I had something deeply wrong with me, and you got me excited about life again. In the hospital, and no one knows this, but since we’re one big Most Dope family now, I would watch videos of you freestyling and try to craft my own 16s whenever my room was empty. It was so grounding and therapeutic. When I hit the flowstate while the nurses were away, man I thought I was finally anxiety-free. Here’s the thing about me rapping, though, I wasn’t very good, but you sure were. And then the surgery happened, and I was OK, and you were OK. I played Blue Slide Park as we left Columbia Neurology behind us. And we kept smiling like we do, like you said. And then the winter of 2015 rolled around, and I shut myself up in my bedroom and drew the shades and wrote a letter, and you know how it goes. On the emotional readiness scale, I would consider myself Tinkerbell. I feel too much too fast and then I implode. The beauty of Faces, then and now, was that it
was 24 laborious and abstract, and deranged songs. You went from tripping to screaming to breaking down love and drugs. You had the words for me when I was my most confused. In the winter of 2015, I had this itch to kill myself, but I also had this convoluted spirituality. I wear a Kabbalah bracelet and a Star of David, and you must get it, because you titled your album The Divine Feminine. In 2015, I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to live or die, so I would test myself. I would put myself in dangerous situations and through dangerous acts and drink dangerous amounts just to know. If I was supposed to die, I would. I made it into a game, because I had to. I gave myself “the Faces-rule.” The tape comes on and I give my mortality a stress test. This was all terribly ritualistic and I was at my lowest, but every time the project came to a close, I was still alive. I had vivid, graphic nightmares and stopped sleeping. Faces gave words and sounds to my nightmares and when I realized I could finally explain myself, I realized I could survive. Thank you, Mac, for reaching out from whatever plane you were on when you made Faces and showing me there was a life left for me to live in a kindred, cosmic sense that will only make sense to me. I lived, man; we did it. Even soundless, Mac, you gave me my words. You gave me my life, man. I wrote myself out of 2015 with Run-On Sentences: Vol. 1 on in the background. It was February and I was still sitting in pitch darkness, but I was finally back at that poetry business. I was writing the best poems of my life, and the first publication credit I ever earned was for a piece I wrote to “Birthday.” The poem was about living, somehow — just like all of your music and your legacy will be about living, somehow. I lived, man; we did it. In 2016, my life was feeling like it was mine again, and like clockwork your music was
WRITTEN BY DONNA-CLAIRE CHESMAN
I promise I am going to write my heart out for you.
right there with me. It was uncanny — it is uncanny — how we’ve managed to live through everything together year-to-year. It’s a Jewish thing, I think. In 2016 I was in and out of love and you were very much in, and I was feeling on top of the world somewhere in Bushwick and you had it all figured out, too. And then when life didn’t ask and pulled the rug out from under me, in the pockets of The Divine Feminine, you were still there and you still understood. I returned to GO:OD AM, I learned what fight and recovery sounded like. All these years, man, and you kept teaching me what life could sound like if I just gave it some time and elbow grease. When I began to settle into the reality of my depression, to accept that this is how I am going to have to live every day, Watching Movies with the Sound Off was the record that showed me exactly how sadness could be beautiful and beyond reproach without being glamorized. Your language was always fucking thrilling, but Watching Movies unlocked something in me that colors everything I write to this day.
WRITTEN BY DONNA-CLAIRE CHESMAN
You made “I Am Who Am,” which I’ve vowed to get tatted down my arm just as soon as I know this writing thing is going to work out. You made a song about the Jewish Diaspora and how you don’t want to be chosen you just want to be left alone. You made a song talking to a void, while talking to yourself, while talking to me, while I talk to myself, and it was slick and avant-ish and brilliant. You made my favorite song, Mac, the one I play people who want to get to know me. In 2017, my grandfather passed away. The same day I found out about his passing, and again, no one knows this, but that was when I bought a three-foot painting of you because I was distraught and that seemed like a reasonable coping method. As I’m writing this, I have that piece of art framed in my living room right beside me. I look up at it whenever I have a writer crisis of faith.
Some people have an everything-artist. Some people have a mentor-artist. Shit, Mac, you were a light. You were transcendent to me. Then there was Swimming. You didn’t release that album, Mac, you gifted it to me. ‘Nother year, same shit. One-to-one, you and I. It’s 2018, and I’m fucking terrified, man. I’m scared and I’m excited, and I’m at peace. All at once. I wake up in the middle of a panic attack damn near every day; some days I don’t know how to help myself. Swimming is the first album I put on every morning. I mumble bars to myself when the breathing gets tough. All of the nameless evil that plagues me lives on Swimming, in this stunning, heavenly package I could have never articulated without you. People might think you saved my life, but you did something so much more important: you showed me exactly how I can save myself. In 2018, I found out you read my writing. A lot of my writing — and you liked it. That means the world to me. At the time of writing this, over 30 people have reached out to me personally to see how I am. I’m happy to be part of your legacy in that way, to be known in my corner of the Internet as That Mac Miller Girl, while you go down as a legend who touched so many people’s lives. Thank you, Mac. Thank you for your love, and for reading my writing. Thank you for teaching me that I can keep living so long as I keep writing, so long as I keep creating. Thank you for explaining the Jewish Diaspora to me in song. Thank you for Macadelic, an album that sounds like my specific brand of day-to-day. Thank you for growing with me and showing me that I am not crazy at all. I promise on everything I am going to write my heart out for you, just like you showed me time and time again for a decade. There truly has never been a motherfucker iller, Mr. Miller.