After a series of mixtape releases and relentless touring, Pittsburgh rapper Mac Miller made history with his 2011 debut “Blue Slide Park” and was one of the first independent rap artists to reach a million copies. That kind of success was relatively unheard of and definitely made the industry pay attention to this young white rapper from the ‘burbs. His fan base was real and so was the pressure and anticipation for the follow-up LP “Watching Movies With The Sound Off“.
For such a build-up, his sophomore effort gives listeners a different sound and a growth from the 21 year old rapper. Featuring production from Earl Sweatshirt, Diplo, Flying Lotus, Pharrell, Chuck Inglish, and his alter-ego Larry Fisherman, Mac steps his production game up to deliver some hypnotic rhythms to pick up where his 2012 mixtape “Macadelic ” left off. Where his lyricism falls short, the production and beats definitely pick up to drawn out the amateur rhymes.
Now, don’t get me wrong, “Watching Movies With The Sound Off” is not a bad album. Mac still seems still be in his frat-boy, party mode and enjoying his success at such a young age with tracks like “Red Dot Music” featuring Action Bronson and the witty “Suplexes Inside Of Complexes Inside Of Duplexes” featuring a dope guest verse from Roc Nation‘s Jay Electronia. Tracks like “Youforia” and “Objects In The Mirror” find Mac Miller taking the time to trade rapping for singing over a airy, atmospheric beat that seems to just miss a direct point or direction. Following the moment of confusion, Mac Miller offers up a more serious note on his track “REMember” as he spits about the passing of a former friend.
With “Watching Movies With The Sound Off“, Mac Miller takes an ambitious route to deliver a new creative direction that is not as refined or classic as you would expect from a sophomore release. His flow falls short and the introspective content that really helps listeners connect with, or care about him falls short but the production is definitely the main focus. We understand that with age comes growth and change, but not all change is necessarily great.