Label: Rostrum Records
Production: Earl Sweatshirt, Larry Fisherman, Randomblackdude, Flying Lotus, Clams Casino, I.D. Labs, Pharrell, Chuck Inglish, SAP, The Alchemist, AdoTheGod
Written by: Ben Lester (bjams11)
10, 9, 8, 7, the theater lights begin to fade. 6, 5, 4, the countdown on the screen continues and the audience settles into their seats. 3, 2, 1, the screen goes black and the 6 o’clock showing of Mac Miller’s ‘Watching Movies with the Sound Off’ has commenced. Please silence all cell phones and enjoy.
When the Pittsburgh MC presented his debut studio album ‘Blue Slide Park’ to the world, Mac Miller topped the Billboard charts, becoming the first independent artist to accomplish such a feat in years. While his indie success was an accomplishment in itself, Miller’s ‘Blue Slide Park’ was an indicator that the young wordsmith had yet to discover his sound and left audiences eager to witness his evolution as an artist.
Less than two years later and Mac Miller’s directorial efforts deliver a cinematic experience that will undoubtedly resonate with the listeners. Between the two projects, Miller expanded his lyrical dexterity and owned his sound, the revelation deeply rooted in his 2012 mixtape ‘Macadelic,’ has allowed the Most Dope MC to craft an experience that will be hailed as Mac’s strongest work.
‘Watching Movies with the Sound Off’ is a reflective venture that finds Mac Miller more experienced, self-aware and emotionally charged. “Can’t decide if you like all the fame. Three years ago to now, it’s just not the same. I’m looking out the window ashing on the plane. I wonder if I lost my way,” Mac’s time in the limelight has led him down a road far removed from the easy days of Easy Mac. “The Star Room” isn’t the only track off the album that delves into emotional complexity. “Youforia,” “Objects in the Mirror” and “REMember” all give ‘WMWTSO’ depth. “REMember”, an emotionally driven standout from the album, finds Mac reflecting on Ruben Mitrani, a close childhood friend who passed away. – “You had a girl I kind of wish you knocked her up, so I could meet your son and talk you up.” On top of the lyrically depth content, Mac Miller dons his title as Larry Fisherman to produce the majority of his latest project.
Mac doesn’t remain submersed in internal struggle throughout the second LP, instead he uses the aforementioned tracks to compliment, quite nicely, his boisterous sound that we are accustomed to. Miller allows his word play to speak for his creative talent; from “Hyper than Williams” to “I’m a highly difficult ropes course” the Pittsburgh native shares a good amount of time proclaiming his excellence.
Mac Miller’s ‘Watching Movies with the Sound Off” is a solid body of work that will propel the MC further in his career. The strongest asset the album possesses is Mac’s ability to obtain features that successfully blended in with the concept of the album. Ab-Soul, Action Bronson, ScHoolboy Q, the ever allusive Jay Electronica and Tyler, The Creator all provide a vital piece to this cinematic puzzle, even Loaded Lux’s outro to “Red Dot Music” is a memorable occasion. While ‘Watching Movies with the Sound Off’ lacked that strong single to support the album’s release and the young Mac still has time to fully develop the direction in which he proceeds from at this point in time, the Most Dope spitter crafted a cinematic achievement that is definitely most dope.