Legacy Track of the Week: Mac Miller - 2009
“And sometimes I wish I took a simpler route, instead of having demons that's as big as my house” Over producer Eric G’s piano keys Mac Miller delivers a career-defining record that exemplifies his growth and maturity through his almost ten year run in the music industry. His first mixtape K.I.D.S. created a lane for the Pittsburgh MC that generated multiple Platinum records and millions of fans across the globe, yet forever he’ll be remembered as a cautionary tale as to why you should never look to medicate all your misery and pain. In fact, one can’t help but think of J Cole’s album released this same year entitled K.O.D. (aka Kids on Drugs), that made a case for meditation over percocets, painkillers, and heroin, yet at the moment that’s only wishful thinking for a culture that glorifies these demons at every turn [See Future, Migos, Travis Scott’s entire careers for confirmation]. Perhaps, however, Mac Miller wasn’t inspired by anyone and was only lost in trying to figure out life for himself, yet in any event, he definitely made a large impact in the short amount time that he gave himself.
Travis Scott ft Big Hawk, Swae Lee & Drake - SICKO MODE
“My dawg would probably do it for a Louis belt, that's just all he know, he don't know nothin' else” After long anticipation Travis Scott has released his third studio album ASTROWORLD, and by no surprise one of it’s highlights is indeed the Drake/Swae Lee feature, a 3 part record complete with Big Hawk/Notorious BIG sampled vocals over tripped out production that encapsulates Scott’s subgenre of Hip Hop perfectly. With that said I really appreciate the name of this album and its significance, as it references Houston’s former Six Flags Amusement Park that was torn down during Scott’s childhood. He wasn’t feeling that and I respect that he’s kept its memory alive.
Travis Scott - WAKE UP
“You decide if I live or die, when you're close, I'm alive, I can feel the sky” One of the other best records off ASTROWORLD is one of its two collaborations with The Weeknd, and although it could be more lyrically creative it’s melody and production makes it an undeniable jam. This is one of the best Weeknd records in recent memory.
Travis Scott - ASTROTHUNDER
“Sins controlling' me, yeah, angels, halos over me, I need blessings and my peace” Thundercat production with John Mayer on the strings along with additional credits given to producers Frank Dukes, River Tiber, Matthew Tavares, and Travis Scott himself, this one serves more like an interlude but it’s most definitely a vibe.
Travis Scott - COFFEEBEAN
“Your family told you I'm a bad move, plus I'm already a black dude, leaving the bathroom my hands is half-rinsed, if only a ***** just had sense, speaking in past tense, it's been a week and a half since, we ain't been speaking and that meant, you feeling free in my absence” Love the outro that sounds absolutely nothing like the rest of the album, this one has OVO production provided by Nineteen85 and showcases Travis Scott’s actual emcee skills, albeit with subject matter related to his Kardashian drama more than anything else. Regardless it’s a smooth record that brings closure to a crazy roller coaster ride of an album.
Mac Miller - Come Back To Earth
“My regrets look just like texts I shouldn't send, and I got neighbors they're more like strangers, we could be friends, I just need a way out of my head, I'll do anything for a way out, of my head” Mac Miller released his 5th studio album towards the end of Summer 2018, and unfortunately it turned out to to be his final body of work to be released in his lifetime, due to his tragic overdose that now makes him the latest entry of a long list of musicians and entertainers that have suffered the same fate. He had grown tremendously through his music, however, initially coming into the music industry as a Wiz Khalifa affiliate (aka weed rapper), transitioning there into a full-fledged pop star (aka frat rapper), and finally evolving into a legitimate musician that had more soul and depth to his music than most in his genre. His latest album is particularly significant and somewhat eerie in how often it touches on his ultimate demise, whereas some might wonder if he inadvertently spoke those deadly thoughts into real life. Conversely one could never doubt that his music wasn’t true to his reality, thus the message on this album ultimately provides an unintended purpose, as it plays like a letter from an artist saying goodbye to all his fans.
Mac Miller - Self Care
“Yeah, I been reading them signs, I been losing my, I been losing my, I been losing my mind, yeah, get the fuck out the way, must be this high to play, it must be nice up above the lights… that Mercedes drove me crazy, I was speeding somebody save me from myself” An unintended reference to his Hit & Run DUI charge last year, unintended considering that Mac Miller says he wrote the Mercedes lyrics before the DUI actually happened, thus providing credence once more that art imitates life and vice versa. Mac Miller himself spoke to that realization saying that in spirit it’s all connected, making these visuals inside a casket all the more tragic and poetic.
Mac Miller - Ladders
“We don't have a lot of time to waste, somehow we gotta find a way” One of Mac Miller’s best strengths was always his ear for music no matter what particular phase he was in, and anytime he surrounded himself with live bands full of rhythm and soul his music always benefited. Prime examples of this could be found all over one of his best albums The Divine Feminine, and this record captures that same feel as well. Much credit should go to producers Pomo and Jon Brion, and of course all the incredible musicians that blessed this track and so many others throughout Miller’s career.
Mac Miller - Jet Fuel
“Okay, okay, well Imma be here for a while longer than I did expect to, I was out of town getting lost til I was rescued, now I’m in the clouds, come down when I run out of jet fuel, but I never run out of jet fuel…” Speaking of true musicianship it should be noted that Mac Miller had skills that went beyond the microphone, and his alter-ego producer persona Larry Fisherman was always living proof of his versatility. With that said the lyrics once again clearly indicate a man unsure of his own well-being, enough to deliberately and suggestively reference his death in almost every single record on this album.
H.E.R. ft DJ Scratch - Lost Souls
“If you don't bother then, why you responding then? Careful where you plant them seeds, before you water them” The once unknown and still mysterious H.E.R. has released yet another extended play before her highly anticipated debut album, and this intro not only samples Lauryn Hill but is reminiscent of the legend in more ways than one, showcasing H.E.R.’s apparent emcee skills in addition to her incredible voice - an attribute that was of course present in Lauryn herself, who ultimately is the perfect artist for H.E.R. to look to for style, spirit, and inspiration.
H.E.R. - Feel A Way
“Don’t make me feel a way… don’t make me feel away” This one is the smooooth R&B music that we needed.
H.E.R. - As I Am
“Tell me I'm the best I am, I'll be feeling like, yes I am” 🔥🔥🔥 I can’t wait for this debut album.
YG ft Quavo - Slay
“One time if you a bad bitch (one time), two times just for the savage (two times)” Produced by DJ Mustard this one is good for the vibe.
YG ft Youngboy Never Broke Again - 666
“Move bitch, a ***** need a little space, stank look on my face that's too much drugs and drank” Produced by Mike Will Made It & Ziti this is a comedic record for all its reckless demeanor.
YG - Bomptown Finest
“Who would Master P be if he wasn't ‘'Bout It 'Bout It’? or HOV without the Marcy Projects, I'm Bomptown's finest” Another one produced by longtime collaborator DJ Mustard this is another smoothed out record that provides the perfect outro to the album and showcases the best version of YG, the laid back young OG version that exemplifies everything that’s West Coast Hip Hop, and throughout his discography he’s been good for this classic sound on more than occasion.