After first being released a little over seven years ago, Mac Miller’s critically acclaimed mixtape Faces is now available to stream on all major platforms for the first time. So, obviously we’re freaking out about it.
Faces served as the follow-up to the late rapper’s 2013 sophomore album Watching Movies With the Sound Off — and includes guest appearances from Vince Staples on “Rain”, Schoolboy Q on“Friends”, and Rick Ross on “Insomniak”, just to name a few.
And while his ambitious, acclaimed second studio album did help redefine Mac as a serious artist. It was Faces that had Mac fully coming into his own as an all-around musician, candidly opening up about mortality, love, and drugs, all while exploring a fresh sonic sound.
Originally released on Mother’s Day 2014, the behemoth 24 + 1 bonus track project was mostly produced by Miller himself under his Larry Fisherman alias, alongside the likes of 9th Wonder, Big Jerm, DrewByrd, ID Labs, Rahki, randomblackdude, THC, and Thundercat.
Though it may not be a new collection of music and despite having already known about the mixtape’s impeding stream release for about a month — the excitement of it actually being here is still next level — and rightfully so.
Keeping it entirely 100, despite already knowing the tragic ending, and that even back then Mac was no stranger to dark lyrics, it's hard not to find the beginning of the mixtape’s first track “Inside Out” to be chilling. As he proclaims “should have died already,” at the time establishing Faces as a confession, and now an eerie foretelling.
In it he gets higher than we’ve previously heard about, celebrates his successes with a variety of drugs, and documents the difficult descents of coming down after riding so high. Throughout, he never lets us forget that (at the time) he is just a 22-year-old guy trying to get his mind right. Even then, while listening, there was a natural concern for Malcolm, but we also couldn’t help but be drawn in by the music’s raw magnetism.
To announce the re-release of Faces, Mac’s team tapped director Sam Mason to create a new music video for one of the project's tracks, "Colors and Shapes.” The track felt very visual to me—like it had its own world,” Mason said in an issued video statement about the posthumous visual. “This atmospheric nighttime place that was sometimes dangerous, sometimes comforting, then I saw a picture of Ralph and a story emerged.”
He continued, "To build it out I asked Malcolm’s family to send me bits and pieces from his childhood, scenes from the town where he grew up, objects, toys from his room—little pieces of his life that I extrapolated outwards and used to inspire the story. In the abstract, it’s meant to be a video about childhood—growing up as an artist and the highs and lows of that experience. It’s sort of a look at the emotional and difficult and perilous but noble path of an artist.”
Faces is currently available to stream on all major platforms and can also be purchased on vinyl here.