It’s been three years since the Pittsburgh rapper Mac Miller died, but the “Rap Diablo’s” legacy continues to live with his family, his friends, his videos and, most importantly, his music.
On Oct. 15, ‘Faces’, his 2014 mixtape, was re-released on all music streaming platforms and on vinyl. This is considered one of Mac Miller’s most popular mixtapes and has extremely positive reviews.
‘Faces’ has 25 tracks total, clocking in at an hour and thirty-one minutes. Initially, I did not enjoy how long the mixtape was. 20 plus songs is never an easy thing to get through, with either an album or mixtape. That was part of the reason why I never had a chance to sit down and listen to the whole thing back in 2014. The only songs I ever heard from ‘Faces’ before the re-release were “Diablo” and “Insomniak (ft. Rick Ross)”, which I enjoyed.
But now, having listened to all 25 tracks on this re-release, I think the music makes the length well worth it. Miller’s rapping ability remains top-notch, and the features throughout ‘Faces’ — including ScHoolboy Q, Sir Michael Rocks and Da$h — were second to none. It’s hard to pick a favorite feature, but some top contenders are Rick Ross (“Insomniak”), Earl Sweatshirt (“Polo Jeans”), Vince Staples (“Rain”) and Mike Jones (“Uber”).
The first track, “Inside Outside”, caught my attention right out the gate. Miller has always been gifted with lyrics and storytelling, and ‘Faces’ is no exception.
The opening lyrics of “Inside Outside” also take on a whole new eerie and grim meaning, something which persists throughout ‘Faces’. Miller always put a lot of his life into his lyrics, including the demons he struggled against, and they’re easy to find while listening. It’s weird and a bit tough to listen to at first, but after a while, you start embracing the journey he takes you on.
The next track, “Here We Go”, might be my favorite track on the entire mixtape. Miller pulls everything he can from his rapping bag and just neutralizes the beat. My favorite line from that track was “Tryna be a legend by tomorrow / They say I can’t, I’m determined to prove ‘em wrong though”.
Other standout tracks on this mixtape were “Diablo”, “Insomniak”, “Friends”, “Malibu”, “Polo Jeans” and “Ave Maria”. But those are far from the only songs worth listening to.
I loved the production on this mixtape. These beats seemed to fit Miller like a glove. He delivered on almost every beat, always perfectly spitting a verse. The beat on “Rain”, which was produced by 9th Wonder, might have been my favorite, but I can’t not mention “Insomniak” (produced by ID Labs, Big Jerm and ShodBeats) and “Ave Maria” (produced by Larry Fisherman, Miller’s alter ego), which were also standout beats on this mixtape.
I enjoyed taking a ride down memory lane with Mac Miller. This album just took me back to when I was in high school. I also just listened to ‘Watching Movies with The Sound Off’, the album before this mixtape came out, which was still great.
Sadly, this mixtape is also another example of Mac Miller’s potential. Miller was so underrated when he was alive, and only really started getting recognition when he died. He was so good and nowhere near his prime. I’m glad ‘Faces’ was re-released because it really showed off the gems he was able to create while he was still here.
I give this mixtape a 8.5 out of 10, and recommend that everyone listens to it when they have the time. Rest in peace, Mac Miller — know that your fans can continue to celebrate your life and spirit through your music.