Mac Miller - Faces (Mixtape)

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With "Faces," Mac Miller continues to show he's in on the joke walking the thin line between performance art and insanity.

Counted amongst today’s most polarizing Hip Hop figures, Mac Miller remains subject to skepticism due to no fault of his own. A fair listen to 2013’s Watching Movies With The Sound Off shows the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania native has undergone a radical improvement since relocating to Los Angeles, making compelling work with credit owed to the influence of associates including TDE’s camp. Given his story of independent success, Mac is afforded the luxury of making music on his own terms, straying from the course run by peers using mixtapes to stay afloat. Continuing his string of releases in conjunction with clothing from popular streetwear brand Diamond Supply, Faces has him in a rare space turning full creative freedom into a lucrative source of revenue.

Instead of enticing through lavish boastful materialism, Faces finds him once again attempting to make believers out of the doubters and gatekeepers who wrote off his unpolished beginnings. Though he’s a product of his own ingenuity, Mac Miller acknowledges the double-edged sword of race, an unavoidable point of contention that plays a huge role in his fan base.

Having arrived at a place where his presence can’t be easily dismissed, “Here We Go” makes a solid case for distinguishing himself from the pop-tinged leanings littering Hip Hop’s landscape. Mac bluntly states, “I’m underrated, don’t fit on nobody’s playlist / If I ain’t in your top 10, then you’re a racist.” Using this song to flex even further, another bold potshot comes by way of, “You spent your whole advance on two chains and a Gucci verse,” ending his two verses taunting, “I did it all without a Drake [or a Jay] feature.”

Mac Miller’s developed repertoire on Faces centers on honest witticisms, expressing his innermost thoughts through punchlines, and obscure references. Breaking every possible rule from verse structure to lack of hooks, his off-kilter routine requires patience, giving reminders of anti-heroes Kool Keith and MF DOOM. Poking fun at being named on last year’s most incendiary verse, Mac says, “No control, fuck Ken Lamar” on the six-and-a-half minute “Friends”—clearly unfazed and in good spirits given ScHoolboy Q’s adlibs on the song. At home over his own production (under the pseudonym Larry Fisherman), “What Do You Do” has Mac Miller trading imaginative playful bars back and forth with Sir Michael Rocks as he says, “Me and Mikey go back like Bron Bron’s headband.” Pushing the envelope as far as he can, on “Diablo,” the rapper turned beatmaker loops the Jazz classic “In A Sentimental Mood.”  This blatant disregard for convention was the cause of pioneer Lord Finesse’s copyright lawsuit against Mac, but it is why he goes endeared by fellow risk takers.

Either loosely based in reality or cinematic fantasy, Mac Miller spends much of Faces portraying the life of a drugged-up journeyman. Fathoming himself Hip Hop’s Hunter S. Thompson, he tells tales of dropping acid on the experimental “San Francisco,” also delving into the euphoria of tripping out on “Angel Dust.”

Carrying the torch left behind by Eminem, Mac Miller raps with a chip on his shoulder from allegedly being cast aside despite his earnest attempts. Running an excessive 24 tracks (and dragging with filler at points,) Faces is best suited for a long drive in lieu of a forced single sitting. Mac’s guests range from the pleasant surprise of a reinvigorated Earl Sweatshirt on “New Faces” to Rick Ross’ typically awkward button pushing on “Insomniak,” exclaiming, “Mac Miller’s my real nigga, fuck who don’t like it.” Pulling Mike Jones out of obscurity to appear on “Uber” best sums up this phase of Mac Miller’s career: he’s in on the joke walking the thin line between performance art and insanity.

 

RELATED: Mac Miller "Faces" Release Date, Tracklist, Cover Art & Mixtape Stream

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93 Comments

  • Tomas

    AN AMAZINGLY AWESOME SONG

  • HipHopFanatic

    This is the most slept on album of the last few years. The last time I had something in heavy rotation like this was Rare Chandeliers.

  • Larnold

    In my opinion this is mac millers best work. Deep as and dope as

  • James

    Sick of 'real mac miller fans' saying that they miss the 'old max' KIDS is a fucking sick mixtape and so is faces. If you really loved mac miller you would love all his projects, mac hasn't changed, he's gotten older. In my opinion faces is possibly his best mixtape. Listen to all the songs a few times and get deep into the lyrics and you will love it.

  • chris

    lyrically, he kills it. As good if not better than watching movies with the sound off

  • Rob M

    you never now what you're gonna get with mac. The dude can flow that's never a debate but sometimes it feels like he's trying to find the most clever way to say absolutely nothing. This tape was dope though. I hope he makes more projects like this in the future.

    • Josh Moradi

      I really didn't like mac at all until this album and WMWTSO. I really like his new introspective and trip-hop feel to his music than his PMW raps he did when he blew up right around when he released K.I.D.S and BDE. A lot of the songs on Faces were home runs though. Solid LP.

  • khordkutta

    1st time listening to a mac miller project, ish is hella dope

  • Kyleofkelsey

    Dark as hell.

  • Anonymous

    Whether he's a good kid or a junkie doesn't matter to me, his voice sucks and his flow is mediocre.

  • Mac

    This is art! Mac Miller is a fucking genius!

  • gubgub

    I like this better than the old mac miller. Lyrically it was dope and the production was sick. Love the jazzy sound

  • Justin Morse

    Greatest mixtape by mac yet... True modern art.

  • kamo

    this tape is just out of this world.

  • Birch

    Great fucking album

  • Its Um

    Mac Miller has some skills, it's a long ass mixtape but a nice solid one though.

  • Anonymous

    not as good as his last album but Mac is still much improved

  • Anonymous

    His music is constantly changing which makes mac so good. This mixtape is one of his bests.

  • Art Reyes

    This is my favorite MixTape. Sick wit it.

  • Anonymous

    His lazy boring stereotypical white boy voice and flow and average lyrics just don't do it for me.

  • Come On

    Mac Miller has become one of my favorite newer Artist over the Last few Months I can't wait to here this Mixtape this weekend.

  • schzzrf

    Actually, not really any filler at all. I've pulled a full 180 with Mac. This is like his Muddy Waters

  • Anonymous

    incredible tape, Mac keeps getting better and better

  • Ethan

    Each track was sess.

  • cinavenom

    From this user rating it looks like Mac is starting to win his haters over.

  • mando

    mixtape of the year so far

  • LOVE

    INSIDE OUTSIDE HERE WE GO FRIENDS ANGEL DUST MALIBU WHAT DO YOU DO IT JUST DOESNT MATTER THERAPY POLO JEANS HAPPY BIRTHDAY WEDDING FUNERAL DIABLO AVE MARIA 55 SAN FRANCISCO COLORS AND SHAPES INSOMNIAK UBER RAIN APPARITION THUMBALINA NEW FACES V2 GRAND FINALE

  • paul

    best mixtape that i've ever heard in my life.

  • Verbal Tim

    a bit too long and when i heard rick ross i was like wtf. but overall it's a pretty good tape

  • Brett

    Not very often to have a 20+ tracklist with no filler songs, amazing tape from Mac. Definently my favorite mixtape this year, Insomniac, New Faces, Ava Maria and Polo Jeans are standout tracks IMO.

  • Ameer taylor

    Dis jont crank

  • fifth avenue

    really enjoying this, mac miller is getting better and better 4/5

  • fifth avenue

    really enjoying this, mac miller is getting better and better! 4/5

  • Vinny Vango

    Solid. Production variety to features, to quotable lines. Mac has grown tremendously as an artist and who can say that about any house hold/ internet rap artist now a days? The only negative thing I have to say is probably the fact that there was this slight lull in the middle of the tape. Other than that the book ends are sturdy - addressing his status quo in the beginning and turning things up with his features towards the end, energy and production wise. Apparition is my favorite off the project 4/5

  • Paulo

    This tape was lame, don't believe the hype! It's another one of those garbage mixtapes full of throwaways that will be forgotten in a month tops & age as well as last weeks milk.

    • Come on

      Your full of shit go listen to your Lil Boosie Mac is one the last few Good hip hop artists we have left.

  • Mike Kurtowski

    this is dope

  • David Harden

    DOPE DOPE DOPE DOPE! Mac continues to KILL it!

  • give aways

    im surprised this guy still decided to put out a tape after so much success with 'thrift store,' one would think he would shy away from tapes after such huge success and stick to albums.

  • Next

    This dude & this tape are boring, not trying to hate but he is, this tape is straight NyQuil for the ears. I know he gets gassed from his hardcore fans but end of the day he really brings nothing new or engaging to the table. I'd pass guy & his music gets waaaaay overhyped.

  • Drew

    there are no rules when it comes to making great music

  • Jay

    'Did it all without a Drake feature'

  • WazaMC

    Santino Music is unbelievable, especially that Santino is almost 18. He is A good looking kid Too!! Hes what they call A Triple Threat in the Industry. His Tracks are just all I can say is - bow-down peeps! Hes about to drop "Letters To You" his second Tape, an Santino has this Flow and way in an with his Lyrics that's so like real Old School meets modern, Im not sure how to explain, its like this kid was Born from someone BIG back in day- who was reincarnated, peeps this is real talk. Once I relized This kids amazing Talent, I have followed and paid very close attention, and is very mysterios how his writing and Flow swag everything but also its also something else,that is just so familiar from back in the day, but its still totally Original, Kid cant even be compared to Anyone else, keepin it 100 peeps. On You Tube channel is " Santino Music " , He just put out his "OFFICIAL Music Video" like 3 days ago Its called "CHINATOWN FREESTYLE" Video - an is Tight AF!! Its the kids first Official Video and kid gets mad props. And he has lots of Videos up all kinds of Remixes, a lot of Old School Beats and boi those are tight AF! Also a few freestyles and like that! Santino can Freestyle so amazing, like a Mutha F**! I haven't seen many dudes in my ** years that can hold out like him, nobody can go as long and as deep, better then Santino or can even freestyle like this kid, no shit peeps. Just check it, yous see. And most of his Remixes are Better then The Orig. Real talk. CHINATOWN FREESTYLE Video - is off the hook! Its the kids first Official Video and kid gets mad props. On Sound cloud I don't know how often they update that tho, may be free music only and some youtube tracks to some new some up about a year almost. I had someone share a Video with me about 7 months ago and that's how I first saw and watched Listened to Santino, I have been an will continue to follow Santino's success, he will be one of the Greats, a M-Label will Def. pick him up real quick, and Santino will have his pick, so you kno he'll get what he wants, not that bs deal either, if Santino even wants to sign out, he might want to stay Indi, I know this friends... I remember my own grind, I didn't make a Big name for myself, but I did run the game for a good minute, and lil man get mad Respect! Santino, mad respect bruh. #SantinoMusic #LettersToYou Twitter @ThaRealSantino Instagrm. @SantinoMusic Soundcloud @ ThaRealSantino All Santino's Links peps is up all over and on his YouTube Channel. Check Santino Out, If all yous don't already know Santino name yous will real soon anyways, real talk .

  • dawgz

    This is my favourite work of Mac Miller's who has matured a lot with his music, and has gone from that annoying person you love to hate to someone who if you can respect his music can love to love. Possibly in my top 3 pieces of work done so far in 2014.

  • da1

    another good tape. MAC MILLER/DOPPLEGANGAZ yall ready for that.

  • LORD JAMAR

    is hiphop wrong to let the guard down, no matter the talent we know whites invade , play it safethen destroy, then rebrand..then release movies showing the original culture to be white. if mac wants respect defend our black culture don't get defensive. he's getting better no doubt, but he left pitts to be around the cali niggas with bars, ho wouldn't get better as for success when your jewish its easy to get support and brag like your that dude he's going to go pop once he gets big enough no homo

    • Penn Hills

      @ fuk outta here, I'm from the Burg Penn Hills the 58's are the best group from the burgh..Wiz sucks and Mac is a pop MC from Indy beginnings..... He's like an Eminem with better beats.... He's trying to dance the underground / pop line.

    • Fuck Outta Here

      White emcees make up what, 10% of all the cats currently in the game? If that. How's he getting defensive against black culture? Last I checked, hip hop was full of braggadocios lines and "if I'm not in your top 10 your a racist" is one of them. Cali emcees got no bars? Are you fucking kidding me? He's been in the studio with TDE group who most certainly can spit. There are good and bad emcees no matter where you go. You thin Wiz Kalifa has bars? Get the fuck outta here.... and I'm from Pittsburgh. Dude is already pretty big for an indie rapper. Hating ass clown.

  • Anonymous

    this is a good mixtape. too many haters!

  • IAm

    This dude has had wack lyrics & delivery since day one, flow boring & monotone as hell, lame ass subject matter, sounds like he's about to sneeze every time he raps. Only people who bump this fool are pretentious white boy suburban hipster types who think he's the greatest thing since sliced bread.

  • GayLord Fauve

    Mixtape fucking terrible. Fuck Mac Miller, on blood. I'd fuck that nigga bitch.

  • Anonymous

    This is surprisignly good. Mac's proven that he's dope now that he's released WMWTSO, the Larry Fisherman tape and this. He redeems his shitty blue slide park and macadelic days

  • jack

    Very thorough and accurate review. A majority of rap listeners are far too quick to dismiss Mac Miller because he is a suburban, white kid. So what? His lyrics have drastically improved and his ability to craft beats is quite remarkable. I have enjoyed his last several projects immensely and wish more people would stop judging the book by its cover.

    • R.Pgh

      Point Breeze isn't really the suburbs. It's not really ghetto or anything, don't get me wrong, but it's within city limits and part of the city school system. It's definitely surrounded by some fucked up neighborhoods though.

    • carAnthony

      Almost exactly what I wanted 2 say...

  • Anonymous

    Mac Miller was never a bad rapper. you idiots are just hipsters that hate anything that gets mass appeal. its really distasteful

  • matt

    great tape miller is improving and growing as an artist

  • Hilda

    He's improved. I really like it

  • bellwether

    dope production mac miller became one of my tops with this release!!

  • Hip-Hop

    This was a dope project. my only complaint is Mac can get pretty mono-tone or boring at times. This project deffinately deserves a 4/5

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  • adillyo

    Just like asher, mac's using his onetime pop appeal to show people that he can actually get better given the chance. His beatmaking ability alone has just become superb.

  • flyqtheanchor

    You scared to be different? go download my new shit ya pussy http://www.datpiff.com/mixtapes-detail.php?id=612040

  • RC

    This cat gotta have one of the worst cadence & boring flows in the entire game. Lyrically this dude hasn't advanced an inch since 2010, "Carrying the torch left behind by Eminem" who wrote this?? When did Em leave? This cat's lyrical ability & authenticity ain't nowhere near Em's level. Sorry night & day.

    • Josh Jimenez

      you're dumb as hell if you think his lyrics are bad bro.. and if you think Eminem is still in the rap game currently you're also dumb as hell. His last album went platinum because of his name, when in all reality it was the worst album released last year

  • 49guitars1girl

    I'll admit Mac's been getting better with making beats (Polo Jeans is my favorite out of all of them), but as a rapper he's really boring to sit through.