Album Review: Mac Miller – Faces

Category:  Music
Wednesday, November 3rd, 2021 at 12:51 PM
Album Review: Mac Miller  –  Faces by Zaida Pring
Photo: REMember/Warner

Mac Miller’s 2014 album “Faces” was rereleased to all streaming platforms on Oct. 15th. This was the rapper’s 11th mixtape and a dive into his mental health. 

The 24-track mixtape covers Miller’s struggles with addiction, mental health, death and coping with his new-found success at the time. “Faces” is filled with lyrics fueled by cocaine addiction and cryptic apocalyptic predictions. 

Miller, born name Malcom McCormick, died at the age of 26 from an accidental overdose of fentanyl, alcohol and cocaine on Sept. 7th, 2018 in his residence in Studio City, California. Following his death, law enforcement has sought justice for the rapper by indicting three individuals who were charged with the distribution of the counterfeit oxycodone laced with fentanyl that claimed Miller’s life. 

While the rapper was never shy to speak on his substance abuse, this mixtape dives into his struggle with sobriety and cocaine addiction. In light of his death in 2018, the mixtape feels like a sort of cry for help from someone who was clearly suffering from substance abuse issues that were no longer in his control. 

The opening track “Inside Outside” opens with Miller claiming he “shoulda died already”, leading into the rest of the mixtape’s discussion of his substance abuse.  

“Friends” featuring Schoolboy Q, shows more of the effect of Miller’s substance abuse and the nightmarish, apocalyptic visions the rapper had from it. He likens himself to the devil, as well as a minotaur, before launching into lyrics filled with detailed accounts of cocaine use. Miller states in the track “I know the planet Earth is ‘bout to explode/ Kinda hope that no one save it, we only grow from anguish”.  

While much of the mixtape details Miller’s addictions and drug abuse, he also uses some of the tracks as a cautionary tale of the world of drugs. For example, the fifth track “Malibu” explores the rapper toying with the idea of going to rehab for his substance issues. He warns listeners “the good times can be a trap”, he then toys with the idea of his eventual death from drugs. Miller even states on the track that he “might die before I detox”, after discussing the idea of going to rehab. This line along with many others on the album, foreshadow the young rapper’s death from substance use. 

The 12th track of the mixtape “Funeral” explores death further with Miller opening by reminiscing on his childhood. Miller explains he used drugs as a way to cope with boredom and his loneliness he has found in his success. Miller states that women around him know he is successful and use him for money and new cars, as he sings “know I’m worth a fortune / she just want a brand-new Porsche or Bentley”.  Further into “Funeral”, Miller states he would “turn a child into an orphan”, before going further into his depressive thoughts. The track then goes into Miller discussing his idea of his own self-worth and his struggle with his thoughts. Miller alludes to his struggles with mental health on this track, citing his usage of drugs as a means to cope. 

Mac Miller’s album “Faces” is a detailed account of the rapper following a clear-cut path of self-destruction. Between his declining mental health, his loneliness and struggle with drugs and alcohol, the rapper seemed to be calling for help. It is an eerie prediction of the rapper’s fate, and a heart-wrenching look into the struggles he had in the years before his early death.  

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