It’s been a rocky ride for American rapper Mac Miller. Following a breakup from pop sensation Ariana Grande, Miller has comeback to discuss heartbreak and his mental health on his most recent project, Swimming.
Mac hasn’t gone down the route that many of his counterparts did when he entered the game around a decade ago. There was no silly buildup and there was certainly no padding of his album from streams he got months prior. It’s all very traditional, but the sound isn’t the traditional Mac Miller sound.
We know that Mac is diverse, his tracks have been fun and wild and at other times they have been soft and mellow, Swimming falls into the second category. Following his break up from Grande and being arrested for DUI, it makes a great deal of sense that the music matches Mac’s emotions. The soothing and sublime production has layers of deep lyricism discussing Mac’s mental health, his heartache and his sins. While it’s common in rap to listen to people talk about their addictions and their troubles, Mac seems more genuine than most, there’s a connection there, it’s real. Throughout the entire album Mac sticks to the structure, glorious production blended in with heart wrenching emotions and brutally honest lyricism. It makes for easy yet thoughtful listening. The best examples you can find are in the first half of the album.
The biggest strength of this album might also be the biggest misfire of this album. While it’s structure makes for an easy listen, it might get too easy at points. Tracks that are similar on a production scale can soon fade to fillers if the music is background music, this album only works when you’re listening to it in depth.
That’s really the biggest critique of an otherwise solid album. The narrative matches the production and it’s a really great blend. If Mac chooses to go down this route once more, he’ll only improve on it. It’s great to see the once young guns of rap become a staple of it, the evolution of the rap game is a joy to see with guys like Mac, Tyler and Vince all improving massively from a production aspect. While Mac might be slightly behind the guys mentioned, it’s clear that he’s improving and this is arguably his best project to date.