Mac has developed an insanely good ear for beats. He’s also not afraid to spit on something outlandish, such as the bonus track “Goosebumpz,” which was produced by Diplo. There’s a fair amount of noteworthy names attached to WMWTSO: Pharrell Williams, Chuck Inglish, The Alchemist, Clams Casino, and Flying Lotus. Mac, under the pseudonym Larry Fisherman, produced a good amount of songs himself. However, nothing here is particularly ground-breaking or mind-boggling; it’s straight forward rap. Some stand outs for instrumentals include “Red Dot Music,” “Gees,” “Watching Movies,” and “Youforia.”
The most surprising aspect of WMWTSO is its consistency. Every song is catchy. I don’t think I’ve ever skipped a track in any listening session I’ve had for this album. Mac pulled in some electric feature artists as well, including Earl Sweatshirt, Action Bronson, and the ever-elusive Jay Electronica. A lot of people nowadays look down on feature-heavy albums, so the fact that WMWTSO has very few should be satisfying to some. Rumor has it Mac and Schoolboy Q recorded nine songs together and only one made the cut. Hopefully, this leads to an eventual collaboration between the two. Stand out tracks to listen for: “Suplexes Inside of Complexes and Duplexes,” “REMember,” “The Star Room,” and “I Am Who I Am (Killing Time).”
If this album has a weak point, it’s a lack of substance. But if you’re expecting Mac to be Nas, then you shouldn’t be listening to Mac Miller. I mean, the chorus for “Gees” is just Mac repeating “Suck my dick before I smack you with it.” Did you laugh? Good, because that’s what I like best about his raps. Too many people expect all rap songs to tell a story and contain depth. In my opinion, this defeats the purpose of hip-hop and its focus on lyrical freedom. Too preachy? Alright, I’ll get to the point: Mac is fun as hell, and sometimes he will take the time to put meaning behind a song. Tracks like “Aquarium,” “Someone Like You,” and “Objects In The Mirror” show him adding feeling to the music. All in all, he could be more slick and more complex, but then he just wouldn’t be Mac Miller. If you want dark and brooding emotional angst, then Eminem is the guy for you.
As stated before, putting out an album the same day as Kanye West was a risky move, but I think it will pay off. Sure, Watching Movies With The Sound Off probably won’t do Yeezus numbers, but that’s not what audiences should be interested in. I think Mac has gotten exponentially better, and will only continue to improve as time moves on. This album is a testament to that growth. He’s come a long way from K.I.D.S. and Best Day Ever, but don’t tell that to Donald Trump.
Watching Movies With The Sound Off? Think Mac’s nuts going up against Yeezus? Let us know in the comments below!