four years of mac miller’s ‘the divine feminine’

My favourite album of all time, with songs that feel like a warm cup of coffee on a rainy day; laying in bed together, tangled in your arms… this is hands down Mac’s most accomplished album. Starting your day with ‘The Divine Feminine’ is the only way.

The most intoxicating experiment of his, the album is meant to draw two people together and is an eclectic journey through Mac’s sensual side, showing the many different ways love can look and feel — innocent, romantic, flirty, exciting, sexy, slow — with lyrics like “open up your legs and go straight to your heart,” and “I’ll be at your service like the check-in at the curbside / You don’t have to spend another second on this Earth dry.”

The album begins with Congratulations, a track featuring Balil (and obvious Ariana Grande background vocals). The gentle piano sets the tone for the beginning stages of falling in love: soft and slow, easy and delicate movements.

A reason I feel this album is so widely celebrated is because Mac truly tapped into his feminine side and wasn’t afraid to get a little real. Ariana Grande’s influence on him greatly shows on this album — she’s also featured on the track My Favorite Part. Just like there’s something so attractive about Harry Styles in blouses, fans are majorly drawn to this album because Mac Miller understood the power within the Divine Feminine — a man who fully loves on all levels is a man able to reach new highs.

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“In one of its earlier stages, I played it for a good friend of mine and a girl he was with. Watching them listen was my favourite thing ever. They started on kinda opposite sides of the room, and gradually moved closer and closer as it played. They were in it, they were really in it!” Miller said in an interview with i-D.

His songwriting sets him apart from anything other big rappers in 2016 were doing. In the four years since its release, nobody has topped it either, in my books. The lyrics paint a deeply personal vision of his adoration for his muse and leave listeners daydreaming about being loved so intensely.

“That’s exactly what I want — for people to lose themselves in the emotion, to take that ride. I want people to put on the record and it’s a date in itself. I want people to love to this record and realize they can love to it.”

Mac Miller

Some of my other favourite tracks include Skin, Dang! featuring Anderson .Paak, and Cinderella which features Ty Dolla $ign. My vinyl copy has been played so many times, I’ve worn it out. I have so many memories with specific people attached to these songs over the last four years, that listening to this album is also about remembering those times — the vulnerability, the late night drives, the look in your eyes. There are multiple levels of love wrapped up in this album for me, easily making it a forever favourite.

Mac Miller at home, July 2018. Clarke Tolton for Rolling Stone.

The album ends with my favourite song, an eight-minute long track called God Is Fair, Sexy Nasty, featuring Kendrick Lamar and Mac Miller’s grandmother.

When asked by Billboard magazine on how the outro came to life, Miller said, “I was actually in a studio in New York, and she’s in Pittsburgh. I told my mom, “Mom, I need you to go over to Nanny’s house and just put the phone down, and ask her to tell the story of her and Poppy.” And she killed it! It was so poetic and beautiful. I cried multiple times when I first heard that.”

The last line of the album (and Miller’s grandma’s story) touches on “how important it is to love, respect and care for each other.” And I think that’s the only message Malcom ever tried to get across.

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