When Mac Miller died last year, the music industry changed its default setting to mourn and his fans assumed they’d heard the last of his new musical releases.
Since his death by accidental overdose on September 7 2018, he was posthumously nominated for a Grammy acknowledging the mastery of his fifth studio album, Swimming, in a bittersweet moment.
But Mac taketh away and he giveth, gloriously, in the form of unreleased studio recordings which constitute a whole album of collaborative material.
According to Chicago producer Thelonious Martin, Mac Miller, real name Malcolm James McCormick, did a collaborative album with producer and rapper Madlib.
Martin told DJ Booth:
When we was working on Guidelines, he was always excited about all these other songs. He had this Madlib album, called Maclib.
I opened for Madlib in Chicago last summer, at Pitchfork. So I’m opening for Madlib, and about 15, 20 minutes left in my set, Madlib pulls up. Pete Rock walks up as well.
So I’m trying to focus and DJ, and Madlib gets on and 15 minutes into his set he just randomly plays a Mac Miller joint.
And I turn to him, I’m like, ‘There’s more of these, right?’ He’s said, ‘Oh, yeah, there’s a whole album. Maclib.’ What! What! He just kept moving on with his DJ set.
American bass guitarist and Mac’s mate Thundercat – real name Stephen Lee Bruner – has confirmed the secret album on social media, saying he was there when the pair recorded it and the music ‘blew [his] fucking mind’.
Martin concluded to say he thinks, ‘If Madlib decides to bless the world with that project, he should.’
Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Miller began to focus on his music while still at school, and released his first mix-tape under the name EZ Mac at just 15.
He was ‘a bright light in this world for his family, friends and fans’, his family said, in a statement confirming his death last year.
Mac, a master lyricist and beat-maker, used his multitude of talents to create music which was truly his, and lent an uncommon intimacy to his too-short oeuvre.
Over the years, he’s used his music as an outlet for his own personal demons – and helped others tackle theirs along the way.
Other records like 2016’s The Divine Feminine, an affecting concept album about what he called ‘the feminine energy of the planet’, tackled pertinent social issues.
He is missed.
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A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you’ve never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.