On Sept. 7, the music realm and the universe itself lost one of its most talented creatives in Mac Miller. From the outside looking in, it appeared that there wasn't an instrument that Malcolm McCormick didn't know how to play or a time where he didn't want to use his creative outlets to spread positivity. Unfortunately, participants and enthusiasts in hip-hop culture tend to give our heroes their flowers when it's too late, leaving us unprepared in moments of tragedy– such as this one. Luckily, fans of Easy Mac and hip-hop alike are finding ways to cope with the loss of such an inspiring soul.
For instance, on Oct. 31 Mac Miller's close associates celebrated his life at his benefit concert at The Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, the entire world was granted the opportunity to share the moment together via a live stream broadcast. Now following the inspirational night, check out this compiled list of Mac Miller's greatest songs that are helping us heal.
Album: Faces (Mixtape)
Mac Miller wasn't particularly known for hopping on trap beats but he definitely outperformed himself on "Insomniak." The space he allowed himself to breathe in between bars is jokingly accurate of what we hear from a lot of hip-hop artists today. It just so happens he did what they do better in a more clear-cut and eloquent way. Not to mention, Miller kept up with one of the best trap rappers of all-time, Rick Ross. It's kind of funny to imagine Rick Ross walking around his 108-room mansion butt-naked with an assault rifle.
Album: Earl Sweatshirt– Doris
Technically, this isn't a Mac Miller record but the fact that it was Miller that led the song off with such an in-pocket, dicey flow on top of such a slow-tempo instrumental is what keeps listeners tuned in. Not to mention, despite being known for musicianship, he held his own with one of this generation's best lyrical emcees, Earl Sweatshirt. This song is just a reminder not to sleep on Miller's bars.
Album: GO:OD AM
The imagery in this particular video is extremely heart-wrenching to witness currently but the content of this particular track lets us know that he did have times of bliss during his creative journey. The hiss of the hi-hats, the well-mixed bass line, and beautifully melodic guitar riffs are a reminder of how serious Miller took his craft. Once again, this video is really hard to watch and probably will be for all Mac Miller fans for the remainder of our days.
Album: GO:OD AM
This track is amazingly fun, providing listeners with a sense of weightlessness. The bouncy flow remains in pocket until the bridge and the beat switch hits you in the face and Miller continues to get in his bag on the third verse. The distorted drums, melodic background vocals, and ad-libs add to the experience. They also allow you to ignore the grandchildren bars directed at his mother at the beginning of each chorus. Yet another amazing composition by the late Miller.
Album: The Divine Feminine
Mac Miller exercised his musical range on this joint. As an admitted fan of jazz, there was no way he wasn't going to lean more into that bag as he progressed throughout his career. Not to mention, Anderson Paak's tone is perfect for the vibe this particular song. The heavy sections of reverb and constant panning effect at the end of certain bars open the track up and allows listeners to delve deeper into the instrumentation of the song. This number emotes sensuality, confidence, and contains the sonic rhythms connected to ancestors of American music.
Album: (Prelude to Swimming)
"Inertia" is like an ode to hip-hop of yesteryear. Not every hip-hop artist of this current generation can clearly articulate over an instrumental track full of jazz piano cords, a funky bass line, and a midi-produced corky drum beat and still be entertaining. This was definitely a one-off track for Miller to showcase his lyrical ability, wordplay, let other artists know that he's not to be taken lightly.
However the bars, "I was high like I'm born to fly/ I never die, I'm immortalized/ Here before ya eyes/ Lord of the flyest, I is your highness" have creepily and beautifully taken on a literal meaning. Oh, and not to mention, Thundercat helped Miller out with the production on this one as well.
Album: Watching Movies With the Sound Off
The beauty in this particular track is that the content and lyrics themselves are somewhat open for interpretation. Sometimes, as fans or consumers, we're always waiting for creatives to provide us with a clear-cut means to an end. We're programmed to want a conclusion from the art we're being presented. It's not always like that and "Objects In The Mirror" is one of those songs that displays a lot of emotion, but you can get lost in the message. Miller alongside The Internet is an amazing experience to be able to witness, even from afar.
Album: Stolen Youth
Grit. Grimy. Hip-hop authentic. The grungy bass line in conjunction with the organ keys, haunting voice chords, and distorted vocals are every hip-hop purists' wet dream. Not to mention some of the best emcees of this generation flexed their lyrical abilities on this track. Stolen Youth was a lot of people's introduction to Long Beach-native, Vince Staples, and one of the first projects Miller went by his production moniker name, Larry Fisherman. This is a grimy B-side song that a true follower of Mac would be able to clearly recognize and tell that he was here to stay for good.
Album: The Divine Feminine
The psychedelic properties and complexities of this particular offering is a testament to his skills as an instrumentalist. There was no one better to add as a feature on this song other than Kendrick Lamar himself. Lamar's voice works as its own instrument intertwining with the drawn-out arpeggiated plucks of each guitar string while the lyrics themselves provide a sense of forbidden lust that has the ability to draw strangers together for what could possibly morph into an out-of-body experience.
This closing track of the album is concluded with the story of how Miller's grandmother met her husband. This composition of sounds, notes, voices, and history can be considered more than just music in itself.
"Come Back to Earth," the opening track to Mac Miller's recently released Swimming album, is eerily a necessary listening experience to help all of us that are fans of his. It's an exposed artistic piece that reveals the inner darkness of Miller's mind all the while letting you know he's content in a state of struggle. Sonically, this song is aesthetically pleasing but unsettling revealing that we lost one amazing, complex artist. Not much else can be said but a lot of us wish Mac could come back to earth.
Malcolm 'Mac Miller' McCormick will forever be known as an authentic member of the hip-hop community. He embodied the culture and was never disrespectful to the founding fathers of what is now the most profitable and profound music genre of our time. Mac Miller will forever be missed, hip-hop will never be the same without you. Rest in power, Easy Mac.