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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Review: Mac Miller’s new LP reveals a new positive, sobered Mac


    “He will work and change and fix things until he can’t anymore,” said Kirdis Postelle, the senior vice president at Warner Bros. Records, referring to Mac Miller’s work ethic on his third studio album, GO:OD AM.

    Miller’s work ethic paid off when it comes to GO:OD AM. The album is listening pleasure. It’s a full-length, cohesive project consisting of variant production and predictions for an even better tomorrow. Miller even incorporates artists including Schoolboy Q, Juicy J, Chief-Keef and smooth crooner, Miguel, for skits and guest verses.

    Pittsburgh native Miller’s real name is Malcolm McCormick, and he’s been in the rap game ever since he was in high school. He became an internet sensation when he dropped the viral video for his boisterous anthem “Donald Trump,” which has garnered over 100 million views. Make that over 100 million and one. 

    But Miller’s career all started with his critically-acclaimed mixtape K.I.D.S., and from then on Miller has ascended the steep slope toward stardom: from his mixed-review debut album, Blue Slide Park, the first independently-distributed debut album by an artist to hit No. 1 since 1995, to his addiction to the popular promethazine, known as “lean,” to Faces in late 2014. 

    During the summer of 2014, Miller sobered up with help from hip-hop pioneer and producer, Rick Rubin.

    “I’m fucked up in Europe one day, and I drunk-dialed Rick Rubin. I was like, ‘Rick, dude, I’m fucked up. Will you help me?’ So I went and kicked it with him for the summer in Malibu. And got clean,” Miller said.

    GO:OD AM is a sober version of Faces, where Miller reflects on his drug abuse and accomplishments while promising his listeners a better Mac Miller for the future. His infectious flow and laid-back storytelling abilities as exhibited in Faces never left. 

    From the start, Miller graciously welcomes us inside his darkly positive project with “Doors.” It’s in “Brand Name,” “Rush Hour” and “Two Matches” that Miller supplies advice that would make our grandmothers smile. Common themes are avoiding participation in consumerism, enjoying life and achieving your dreams. 

    “Hey, blow out your candles, make a wish / What’s a life if you never take a risk? / Ain’t a place too far, ain’t a dream too big,” he raps.

    Then comes the jubilant track, “100 Grandkids,” where Miller reminisces about making his first hundred grand, while flipping Diddy’s “Bad Boys For Life,” formulating the optimal catchy hook. 

    Out of the entire project, “100 Grandkids” is the most commercial; a majority of GO:OD AM tracks wouldn’t settle with mainstream listeners due to their deep content and down-tempo production. 

    However, we find Miller’s booming self-confidence on display in “Break the Law,” “When in Rome,” “In the Bag” and “Cut the Check.” He reminds us that he’s both one of the hardest-working artists in the industry and an avid smoker of marijuana. 

    “Yeah, riding through the city blowing smoke out the window / Cops out on patrol, they looking out for all the criminals,” he spits. Miller doesn’t fear the consequences.

    It’s towards the end that we’re greeted with a romantic Mac Miller in “ROS,” in which he sings a soft, smooth ballad about a girl.

    “Your skin smell like butterscotch and your lips taste like kiwi / Let’s take a plane to Fiji, make a date, let’s take it easy,” he sings. 

    The album’s last three tracks, “Ascension,” “Jump” and “The Festival,” all coincide with each other, reflecting on Miller’s new positive outlook on his career and his life. 

    It appears that Miller is finally ready to wake up not only himself, but also to everyone else with GO:OD AM.

    Follow Mark Flores on Twitter.

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