ACTIVELY developing an artist’s image or social-standing is something that isn’t all too common; censoring names to avoid qualm, this is an aspect of Mac Miller’s career that couldn’t possibly be question. His slow transition from MC to vocalist between Watching Movies with the Sound Off and G0:0D AM was sped up somewhat by signing to Warner Bros. record label instead of Pittsburgh’s local Rostrum.
A political conscious and awareness somehow birthed his new start in the midst of partying and heavy drug-abuse; from lyrics with a violently sexual undertone, to verbal imagery presenting an overbearing lust for romance – Mac grew with his music, with his fans. Relatability.
With hip-hop culture as we know it, would we be wrong to suggest has success is formulaic currency? Record labels are pushing out content with gimmicks to play globally with little-to-no musical or language knowledge needed; a hook is memorised and a hook is repeated until eventually the hook trends across social media. Mac was different, his cryptic metaphors couldn’t ever go viral, his intricacy was a virtue in later life – a tribute to his avid love for music in its entirety. He continually diversified the tools in his arsenal, not only because he was in the press and had a reality show amongst other factors, but because he aged like a fine wine; that bad-boy, rock-star attitude was left behind with alter-egos Delusional Thomas and Larry Fisherman.
Delusional Thomas (moniker), in a way this was Mac’s outspoken and under-the-radar identity, providing a platform for his deepest and darkest (perhaps not industry-friendly) thoughts to run. Thomas was an MC with no respect for himself or those around him, someone with a craving for death and all it encompasses – becoming the voices in Mac’s head.
Larry Fisherman was a producer who incidentally aided the uncovering of Vince Staples, another musician and friend of Mac. This opposed his other ego, creating a safe-space for his creativity to steal the limelight and serve as therapy for himself and each creative involved in his vision; carpe diem instead of this is the day.
To conclude this project, it is not uncommon for creatively-inspired individuals to struggle when controlling emotions and other alien cravings; it was something that Mac, too, struggled to control.
“I’d rather be the corny white rapper, than the drugged-out mess who can’t even get out of his house. Overdosing is just not cool, there’s no legendary romance, you don’t go down in history because you over-dosed. You just die.”
Stopped Making Excuses – 2016
But you did leave a legacy, didn’t you, Mac? You did it, whatever it is, you had it.
Illustration courtesy of Joshua Ganley.