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While it is not a new piece of work, Miller’s legacy still lives on for new and old listeners off of ‘Faces’ (Photo provided by Vinilo).

Ranking 5 best tracks on Mac Miller’s ‘Faces’

Mac Miller’s 2014 mixtape Faces was re-released last week on all streaming platforms. The mixtape was originally released for free as a modest project in-between albums and features collaborations with Earl Sweatshirt, Schoolboy Q, Rick Ross and more.  

Miller’s team also released an animated music video for the track Colors and Shapes, and “Making Faces,” a short film about how Miller created the album as a lowkey project and was still one of his best works. Miller describes in the film how he wanted to originally release the project for free because he was just happy making the music. 

While it is not a new piece of work, Miller’s legacy still lives on for new and old listeners off of Faces. Here are the five best tracks off the mixtape: 

5. “Inside Outside”

“Inside Outside” is a classic jazz contrast to Miller’s past work of “frat rap.” The track samples “My Lady” by ‘70s jazz group The Crusaders, and peacefully dives into his addiction issues about how he “shoulda died already.” It’s definitely strange to hear an artist speak on how they will die years before they do. While the track may sound morbid, hearing Miller speak on his struggles beforehand is insightful to his state of mind. 

He also speaks on taking time to focus on his music but he also focuses on the world around him, explaining that he is on the inside outside: “Never see me in the street too much / But on the inside, I’m outside, all the time / Try and stay away from electric shock / That electric shock, I’m outside.” 

4. “Happy Birthday”

“Happy Birthday” resembles the upbeat and free-spirited energy we know from Miller, but with strings attached. He tells the story of having a birthday party full of celebrity guests that are just using him because of his status; how people are only there to party and not there to celebrate his birthday. 

He then goes on to have pointless small talk with the guests, only to reveal the things that truly matter to him in life. Miller ultimately proves to his audience how fame is not all that it’s cracked up to be. It’s not only a relatable feeling of being lost in a crowd, but it’s a possible insight into his way of life before deciding to focus on this project. 

3. “Insomniak (ft. Rick Ross)”

If there had to be one banger off of Faces, it would be “Insomniak.” This song is a more hardcore, aggressive rap track, differing greatly from the rest of the album resembling modern smooth jazz. Miller speaks on how he’s an “insomniac,” who's constantly up, working and killing the competition. 

Without this track, the album could get a little repetitive with the jazz and lo-fi aspect. However, Miller uses his flow to once again prove he’s the king of rap and how he made it on his own. 

2. “Friends (feat. ScHoolboy Q)”

Featuring ScHoolboy Q’s quirky vocals in the chorus, “Friends” is an avant-garde spin on cool jazz. Miller goes on to describe his crazy life of fame, name-dropping celebrities like Kevin Hart and R. Kelly. The track is also one of few times we hear about Mac’s childhood, such as his mom taking Miller to a barbershop to get cornrows in first grade.

The song also touches on Miller’s problems with drugs and how his family feels about his addiction. Singing “I know my father probably wish that I just smoke pot / My grandma probably slap me for the drugs I got / I’m a crackhead but I bought her diamonds / We love rocks,” Miller speaks on how he knows that he is struggling and hurting his family, but he just can’t quite shake his addiction. 

1. “Colors and Shapes”

This lo-fi trap track about LSD describes a heavy but insightful trip and how Mac and other peoples’ perception of life has changed since taking the drug. An introduction monologue is given by Timothy Leary, who was a leader of the psychedelic movement in the 60s. Leary speaks on how in order to use your head and figure out who you are, you have to “go out of your mind.” He alludes to the psychedelic almost being an essential part of life. 

Throughout the song, Miller describes eccentric trips such as talking to the captain of a ship. He also describes what lessons his trips have taught him, such as how people are brainwashed with the idea that money is equivalent to a successful and happy life. The song is not as tragic as the previous one about Miller’s drug use and almost shines a light as to positive things he’s learned while taking them. 

@hannahcmpbell

hc895819@ohio.edu 

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