It’s time to update the stigma; Mac Miller’s not a kid anymore, he’s a force to be reckoned with. On his latest effort, The Divine Feminine, Larry Fisherman not only tackles the complexities of love but also depicts his sonic growth on a concise 10-song album that fuses jazz, R&B, hip-hop and all of his alter egos.
After some opening credits from his muse Ariana Grande, Mac flows over a piano heavy melody to set the romantic tone on the introduction “Congratulations.” He raps, “this sun don’t shine when I’m alone, I lose my mind and I lose control, I see your eyes look through my soul, don’t be surprised, this all I know. I felt the highs and they felt like you.” Are those lines about Ariana? We don’t know. But if you’re a fan of Mac’s music you know that’s not really the point. Whether they’re dating or not, Ariana’s influence is a positive one, even amongst heartbreak.
For instance, the albums standout single, “Dang” featuring Anderson Paak, tells a story of two men trying to get their girls back by turning to their sensitive side. The vibrant video is reminiscent of Mac in the KIDS days but the content and lyrical prowess showcase how far he’s come. The groovy single has amassed over 6 million views in a month.
Bilal, Anderson Paak, Ty Dolla $ign, Njomza, CeeLo Green, Ariana Grande, and Kendrick Lamar may seem like a contrasting list of features to have on an album, but somehow their different styles blend seamlessly. Songs like “Cinderella” and “God is Fair, Sexy Nasty” lean more on the side of hip-hop while “Skin” and “Soulmate” play to a more R&B vibe and “Planet God Damn” serves as the albums focal point, a slow-paced and sensual song based on one theme, truth.
Mac’s whole career has been a perpetual search for his artistic identity. This album is no different. However, what he’s done here is something peculiar to hip-hop. He revealed it all: the sensitive, the feminine, and the honest. He wrote about his insecurities instead of bragging about his talents. He let us know he’s “the jealous type” instead of talking about stealing someone’s girl. He showed us that he’s a musician not just a rapper. Mac Miller made a rap album about love and it was his best work yet. Go figure.
Stream the album in full on Spotify or purchase it on iTunes.