It would have been easy to swear off Mac Miller as a cornball white Midwesterner that makes rap for tween girls after Blue Slide Park. He existed in this quixotic purgatory of an independent rapper who sold 145,000 copies in his first week, but was largely considered an outsider lacking outsider perspective. It led to comparisons of “if the cast of Glee made a rap album” and extra from Eminem's performance of “The Real Slim Shady” at the 2000 VMAs. He was essentially a rap critic's punching bag in 2011.
Mac Miller never lashed out though or if he did no one was listening. He'd been written off critically and remained relevant where it mattered, through tours and sales. It makes the output in 2013 all the more curious, since Mac Miller is damn-near sabotaging his fame to be respected in circles that once shunned his music. Watching Movies With The Sound Off was a claustrophobic head trip, reflective of his alleged promethazine and codiene addiction, in which even the popier moments weren't bubblegum, but poppy as an illicit substance. He's been numbing his vocals in warps and distortions ever since he found the company of Flying Lotus and Earl Sweatshirt. Mac and Earl took their affinity for pitch-shifted vocals to its limits with “Guild” off Earl's Doris, almost challenging listeners to accept its molasses drip.
Last week Miller introduced an alter-ego to his discography, putting out a free mixtape under the moniker Delusional Thomas. It's an extension of the persona Mac has delved into throughout the year; witty, yet nonsensical bars that express a Quasimoto-esque disregard for laws and inhibition. Delusional Thomas is like the miniture, high-pitched devil on Miller's shoulder, encouraging him towards a darkside. Fit for the the witching season, the mixtape is loaded with self-destructive impulses set to ominous production that lets in no daylight.
Download the Delusional Thomas mixtape at AudioMack.