Reinvention is the key to great artistry. Where many find comfort in following a formula that has already proven successful amongst their fans, it takes real bravery to risk failure for artistic merit, changing direction and wandering into the unknown.
Mac Miller has never been one for sticking to the script. From the “Frat-rap” days of his 2010 breakthrough mixtape ‘K.I.D.S’ to the noodley introspection of 2013’s ‘Watching Movies With The Sound Off’ - not to mention his alter ego side-projects such as evil high-pitched Delusional Thomas and jazz singer Larry Lovestein - the Pittsburgh rapper won’t be second guessed. While he admits he aims to make his best album with every release, his discography tends to explore new worlds and fresh concepts with each addition rather than a continually improving take on the same feeling.
From the moment he announced his fourth LP, ‘The Divine Feminine’, via a Beats 1 radio broadcast with Zane Lowe, it was apparent that another reinvention was on the cards for Mac. “It’s an album that’s all about the journey that is love,” Mac told Zane. “It started out as an EP and the deeper and deeper I got into it, the more that I realised I had to shed light on the topic.” Cue whispers and rumours that the reasoning for the album must be his budding relationship with pop mega-star Ariana Grande, who can often be seen dropping PDA with Mac on Instagram. But while it’s probable that his new relationship feeds into the record - Ariana does lend her vocals to track nine - ‘The Divine Feminine’ is far more than some gawking open-mouthed guy, unbelieving of his luck at dating one of the most famous women on the planet.
Mac set out to make an album about love, not about one specific person. And the result - from its nostalgic piano-tinkering opener, to an outro from Mac’s grandmother who tells the story of her “Love affair” with his grandfather - feels broader than simply a dedication from it’s author to his lover. “[I want people to] wear the album like a blanket,” Mac offers, of his intentions. “To just get into that feeling of love. Whether it be for somebody else, or for themselves. It’s something that you can quiet your mind [with] and enjoy. Just feel like everything is okay for a little bit.”