Let’s get right to it… no hate… it just is what it is… he came in sounding like Wiz… no debating… he then took a shortcut to the money and did frat rap… strong financial move but not a Hip Hop look…(at this time they were selling shirts with his face on it down at the Jersey Shore, next to Snooki, Sammi, & J Wow… all facts)... that wasn’t cool tho... so he then jumped out the window and did a lot of drugs and changed his image successfully… and ya’ll bought all of that… the lean approach automatically meant he was “growing sonically” 😢… and you can have that… (somewhere on the internet is a video of him trying to impress a not excited French Montana with his lean addiction, and he comes off looking like a try hard and nothing more) ... but now… smh… now he’s out here with a Chance the Rapper flow dating Ariana Grande????
lmao well then WE DEFINITELY GOT TO TALK ABOUT THIS…
Actually let’s get right to the music because honestly I don’t want to take any more shots at the man’s ‘artistry’ if I don’t have to, yet it’s his newfound critical acclaim that (in addition to who beside him is critically panned) is an absolute embarrassment to Hip Hop media and journalism- and that by far is the bigger picture that I’m focused on with this review. (See here a previous article I wrote about the objective criteria needed in Hip Hop, and see here for the latest Rap Power Rankings that reflects that). Yet if indeed the tweets below are indicative of how the rest of us truly view the art form… then we are so far gone that we’re truly beyond repair… and it really is a shame that it got to this point. (I blame the internet… only on the internet does it make sense to talk down on a Cole or a Nas to praise a Mac Miller ((which take my word for it happens often… on the internet))… and of course in doing so you’d have to throw out every criteria known to this genre of music.)
Yet to be clear, my vitriol isn’t even for the artist at all, but instead the culture that doesn’t respect the craft enough to truly hold it to any particular standard. With that in mind while Mac Miller isn’t in the upper echelon by any means, he does have some talent with some experience and some good music to his name, therefore I’d be all for a new release that could potentially change my mind… and in some respects he does come relatively close with his latest…
Below is The Divine Feminine critiqued track by track… a solid album without a doubt, even if the raps are the least appealing quality...
Congratulations ft Bilal- “Puppy love ain't what it was, darlin', feelings that we have are so alarmin', I can make you laugh, I can break the glass, if we made it last, it'd be a bargain, Mr. Charmin', that is my department” ……………………………………………….........................................................………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 😒 there’s no other ways to say this… the lyrics on this track are terrible, and honestly they even sound worse through the headphones then when just read off the paper… While often time it’s true that less is more, in this case Mac Miller’s laid back demeanor, you know the ‘i do drugs so i’m not corny’ look, is cringeworthy and there’s nothing to like about it. On the flip side the instrumental is cool (co-produced by Miller himself under his pseudonym Larry Fisherman, along with Aja Grant) has quality all up and down it, and the Bilal feature complements the record extremely well. If Miller’s raps were halfway decent on this then it would have been a pretty damn good song.
Dang ft Anderson Paak-
"Can't concentrate, you're always on my brain, if it's love then why the fuck it come with pain?" For the most part Mac does pretty well on this but as usual Anderson Paak annihilates this, this is an Anderson Paak record but Mac Miller shouldn’t be ashamed of that, that’s true for mostly any of Paak’s collaborators. Otherwise the production from Pomo is exceptional, and overall it's a solid contribution from everybody which makes it a feel good track that we all should be able to enjoy.
“Will... you… stay.... just a lil while babe…” this instrumental and hook is fire... the horns are immaculate... and Mac does his best Chance the Rapper impression and it works... close your eyes... that's Chance in the verses in every single way... regardless it's probably the best song ever recorded with Mac Miller's name on it... and even if you're impartial to the artist this one you gotta feel...
“My dick on business trips, my tongue twistin' is ticklin' just a little bit, I'm swimmin' inside of your skin like a river in the Caribbean” This one is undeniably smooth… I fux with this… the production by the Garcia Brothers and JMSN is top of the line… and Mac floats on this… one of the best records on the album and there’s nothing wrong with it. No he doesn’t ‘fuck up your rewind button’ with his MC skills, but the music is great and in some cases that’s all that matters… yet in other cases this shouldn’t at all be used as evidence that he’s a GOD MC or anything like it… if nothing else though he has an ear for good music, and it definitely pays off on this one.
Cinderella ft Ty Dolla $ign-
"I been waitin' all night for this moment, I been waitin' all year for this moment, I been picturing you takin' off your clothes for me, I been literally curvin' all these hoes for you, daddy told you, better bring your ass home Cinderella..." another fire instrumental and one of the best hooks of the year, all in thanks to incredible contributions from Dj Dahi and Ty Dolla $ign that makes this really special... it also should be noted that Mac does aiiiight on this... clearly not even trying to do any more... just trying to coast... and I respect it even though he doesn't flex with the raps at all on this record or anywhere else on the album - he lets the music around him be the star - and that's probably what he should do. This is a great record for 5 minutes and 30 seconds and then it goes left and I'm good with the last 2:30.
Planet God Damn ft Njomza
“Tell the truth, tell the truth, tell truth, na-na-na-na-na-na” Again the melody in the hook is fire, as well as the overall production (this time thanks to contributions from Vinylz, Frank Dukes, & Aja Grant), yet once again Mac’s lyrics are hardly exemplary… here’s an excerpt: “okay, baby with this piece of cake, we could lay up on the beach, you could feed me grapes, it’s my favorite song, spin it ‘til the needle breaks, we could quit the whole game, do the real estate…” Again… I’m a proponent for the idea that less is more… more often than not that’s a mindset that I completely subscribe to… but man… you gotta do a lil more than this… Mac Miller is actually a better lyricist than what he shows on this album, and of course this style is deliberate all the while a reflection of his overall ‘artistry,’ 😒… his ‘growth and ability to take risks’ 😒 ... or my favorite his ‘progression sonically’ 😒😒😒 (all of what happen to be good qualities when not misrepresented by Twitter A&R’s), yet in this case his overall approach as an MC does not do this music justice.
“No matter what, one day everyone dies, you think you a God 'til you run out of time, yeah, when you're gone, what will you, leave behind? yeah, do I belong, sometime soon, where goes my mind?” kinda groovy… not mad at this… he’s not rapping so again my above criticisms remain valid… but this is aiiiight all the same.
We ft CeeLo Green
“I find that I keep flying high, sometimes I must remind myself, that change is more than pennies laying on the floor inside the well” The second single and one of the best records off the project, if you were to base the album off the singles (Dang in addition to this), you would be inclined to think Mac Miller was primed to deliver his best work to date, and in some respects he probably did… no matter if that’s more attributed to the talent he put around him than his own skills as an MC - either way there’s no debating that he at the very least floats on this record with Cee Lo, not trying to go beyond his abilities while staying within his lane and putting out nothing less than feel-good music.
My Favorite Part ft Ariana Grande
“you just don't know how beautiful you are, and baby that's my favorite part, you walk around so clueless to it all, like nobody gonna break your heart” A Mac Miller duet with his girlfriend Ariana Grande… smh… this is bad Rap and bad R&B… and all I know is if any critics out there actually liked this Mickey Mouse record, then they better be consistent, and they better have no “J Cole raps about rudimentary content” hot takes anywhere on their thinkpeices or timelines.
God Is Fair, Sexy Nasty ft Kendrick Lamar
“Heart to my dying light, bullet to your rose, then I watch your petal fold, don't you know your body been mine?” An eclectic record about… smh… I’m exhausted with the reach gods at this point… and reading annotations on genius for records like this couldn’t be more nauseating… this record ain’t it… meanwhile we don’t even get a verse from Kendrick… just a regular ass hook that could have been sung by anybody… and believe me… Mac’s raps aren’t close to Forbidden Fruit level… so this record isn’t that either… and even though I love grandmothers the outro isn’t particularly appealing either… ultimately this is for the try hards and nothing more, I’m good on this.
Ultimately Mac Miller needs to send everyone who worked on this album a gift basket of some kind, because this collaborative effort front to back is actually pretty good. It is indeed very reminiscent of Chance the Rapper’s 'Coloring Book', which was another well done project thanks to the fact that the entire industry was behind it. Coloring Book has more features on it then a DJ Khaled album, and while The Divine Feminine has a more appropriate balance, the reality is that the sounds of Bilal, TY $, Anderson Paak, & CeeLo are the most memorable moments on this album - only second to the stellar production from DJ Dahi on Cinderella and whoever’s responsible for the horns on Stay - essentially making the music behind the raps nothing less than an absolute pleasure to listen to.
In regards to MC skills tho, that’s a different story… if Cole, Nas, Jay, Fab, etc. rapped these Mac Miller lyrics you twitter critics would clown them for eternity… so let’s please keep it in perspective and let’s please be consistent… At the same time if you truly from the bottom of your soul are touched by this love album by Mac Miller 😢 ... one that is dedicated to Ariana Grande 😢 … then god bless you… but you sure as hell better have no critique regarding content for any other artist moving forward.