"Diamonds & Wood" is an ongoing series in which music critic Shea Serrano breaks down the 5 hip-hop tracks you need to hear this week.
Mac Miller has a new album out, Watching Movies With The Sound Off, and so he is on tour right now and so he was in Houston last night and so I went to go see him. Timeline:
3:48pm: Um, yo, so the Mac Miller (w/ The Internet, Vince Staples, Chance the Rapper) show is at this venue in Houston called Warehouse Live. The doors open at 8 p.m. and Mac goes on at 11 p.m. I'm here at an underground rap thing that Boiler Room TV is doing in one of Warehouse's smaller side rooms. And people are already lined up outside of the big room for Mac's show. Like, they have foldable chairs and tents and shit. That's pretty dope. Fuck you if you think I'm waiting around though. See you in six hours.
9:48: Blam-o. Here. AND THERE IS STILL A FUCKING LINE OUTSIDE. This is gonna be gross inside.
9:53: Dudebros, this place is fucking PACKED. Like, it's full all the way from the stage to nearly the very back of the room. We're like atoms in here. I think groups of people are actually beginning to morph into singular entities from being mashed together so tight. Someone is definitely going to White People Turn Up Heaven* tonight. My guess: trampled to death.
*White People Turn Up Heaven is where white people go to when they die during their crunkest moments, like skydiving or snowboarding with great white sharks or whatever. I read about in a little book called the Bible. Maybe you've heard of it?
9:53:04: Related: Man, is it cool or is it terrible if you get trampled to death at a Mac Miller concert. Like, I think it might be maybe the best way to die of all. Or, I guess if it's not the best, it's definitely the most troll-y way to go, if only because then for the rest of their lives, your parents have to tell people, "John? Where's John? Oh, um, a lot of people stepped on him during 'Frick Park Market' and he died." Put that shit on my coffin if I die tonight.
9:58: Chance the Rapper must be about to walk out. I mean, the DJ hasn't said that, but then otherwise how do you explain this boner I have right now?
9:59: Malibooyah. And there's Chance. The boner knows all. I am definitely clairvoyant. I think I'm gonna start a palm reading business, except instead of reading palms I'm going to read boners. DUDE THAT WOULD BE SO FUCKING DOPE. "Hello. Welcome to Shea's Boner Readings. I'm going to tell you a little bit about what the future holds for you. Please, if you wouldn't mind, take out your boner and place it on the table." OMG THIS IS A UNIVERSE-SHIFTING IDEA, BROS. COPYRIGHTED. I'M GONNA BE RICH. PEACE, BITCHES.
10:01: Yo, haha, these two teenager white girls are trying to wiggle their way past the old man Asian security guard to get backstage. They're trying their very best flirty eyes. He is shutting them righttthefuck down. Love.
10:04: Aye, Chance the Rapper is just so goddamn charming. He keeps doing this stiff-limbed dance all over the stage. It's adorable. I want to give him a great big bear hug. He is exactly like I'd hope he'd be (and exactly like I'd expected him to be, given that I think I've watched all of his interview videos on YouTube). If you've not yet, download Acid Rap. I think it might still be the best rap tape of the year.
10:12: Chance is motoring through all the best parts of Acid Rap. He is weird and joyous and silly and that's what's up. Am I in love? That's pretty dope.
10:14: These poor girls are still trying to get past the Great Wall of China (I really hope that's what he and his security friends refer to him as, because otherwise, OPPORTUNITY LOST). I love this guy. He's like SMILEsmileSMILE and FRIENDfriendFRIEND and then they think they've turned him and then he just pumps the brakes on 'em. They look so dejected. Other people are starting to notice too. Time to find a new spot to stand. I've seen enough episodes of The Real World to know that if you think two young drunk white girls are about to detonate it's time to movethefuck along.
10:23: "JUICE"! CHANCE IS DOING "JUICE"! INFINITY HAPPY FACES.
10:29: Dawg, I am SOOOOO good at looking at a person and just hating every single thing about him or her. Like, I'm truly world class. It's an invaluable trait, to be sure. "Hi. Nice to meet you. I hate you." Boom. True player shit.
10:32: Hey, but so why do so many girls wear those high-waisted jean shorts that make your butt look a meter wide? Like, I mean, mom mutt is not the move, yo.
10:32:15: Related to Mom Butts: "Dad Dicks".
I miss Workaholics :'(
10:39: There should be some sort of shirt rule where, like, if your shirt doesn't have sleeves then it can't have a hood either. Or, I mean, there should at least be some sort of built-in penalty for it. Like, say when you go to pay for it at Armani Exchange or whatever the cashier is like, "Oh, cool. You went with the hooded sweatshirt vest. Good luck. Remember, anytime you wear this, people are allowed to walk up to you and just punch you right in the cock." Shea Serrano, United States Secretary of Fashion.
10:39:04: BTW, right now I am wearing shorts that I cut into shorts from old pants and a plain baby blue T-shirt that I bought from Champs for $6. This is one of those Do What I Say, Not What I Do type things.
10:43: Uh oh. Lights out. "Mac! Mac! Mac!" chants. He's coming. This place is SUPER WIRED UP. Weird to know that you're standing in a room suddenly just stuffed to the rafters with white boners.
10:45: The DJ just shouted that Mos Def is here??? Isn't he, like, 60-years-old? I bet we just lost maybe 30 percent of the white boners. Mos Def is definitely anti-white boner. Except for that GMC commercial he did in 2007. That was the pro-white boner phase of his career. He was all about white boners then.
10:48: BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM! DUDES, HOLY SHIT, MAC MILLER IS NOT FUCKING AROUND WITH YOU HOES. GIGANTIC LIGHTS AND STAGE CANNONS AND INFINITY ENERGIES. IT'S LIKE A NUCLEAR EXPLOSION JUST HAPPENED ON STAGE. THIS IS AMAZING. WHITE BONERS ARE AT 100%.
10:51: MAC MILLER IS TRYING TO SPLIT THE SUN IN HALF.
10:54: STILL. JESUS. WHY HASN'T HIS HEART EXPLODED IN HIS CHEST YET??? I DON'T THINK THE CROWD HAS EVEN BREATHED. I AM GOING TO GO HOME AND DOWNLOAD HIS ALBUM 1000X THEN SET MY FACE ON FIRE AND THEN BREAKDANCE IN MY SON'S CRIB WITH HIM STILL IN IT IDGAF FTW.
10:54:04: That last time stamp isn't entirely accurate. When The Baby is asleep, like, I don't make a single fucking sound. Nobody does. We just shut the whole goddamn house down for his naps. Sometimes I actually make negative noise. Like, I ABSORB sounds from others so they won't reach his ears. He's a seven-month-old terrorist.
11:02: Mac (Percy) Miller. He is driving a gold tank down a street paved with white boners. This is just so unbelievable right now.
11:04: DAWG, HE IS STILLSTILLSTILL GOING. SEVEN PEOPLE ARE ALREADY DEAD. PEOPLE ARE PASSING OUT IN THE CROWD. GUYS ARE PICKING THEIR GIRLFRIENDS UP ON THEIR SHOULDERS. THIS MUST BE WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO HANG OUT WITH A BUNCH OF DMX'S CHROMOSOMES. MAC MILLER GOT ME FEELING LIKE I WANNA GO COMMIT A CRIME JUST SO I CAN TO PRISON AND START A PRISON GANG. CALL ME PRISON GANG SHEA FROM NOW ON.
11:04:04: Dude, HAHAHAHAHAHA. One of the guys standing in our section is with who I am assuming is his woman. She's a thick little mama. He's a thin little dude. They watched a separate guy pick up his woman onto his shoulders. They both looked. Then the thick little mama looked at the thin little dude. Then thin little dude gave her a look like, "Nah, boo." HAHAHAHAHA. LOVE.
11:09: Is Mac Miller my best friend? Did we build a clubhouse together? Did we use my dad's pocket knife to become blood brothers one night while camping in his background? Do I always pick him during pickup basketball even though he's never the best player available? Did we learn all of the fatalities on Mortal Kombat 2 together? Did we used to watch karate movies and then karate fight each other? Did we use to choreograph dances to rap songs and then perform at quincenearas? Shea + Mac, true best friends.
11:11: DUDES OMG OMG WHITE PEOPLE ARE GRINDING ON EACH OTHER. WE'VE DONE IT .WE'VE REACHED THE HIGHEST ORDER OF EXISTENCE MAC MILLER. HAS DELIVERED US TO THE MOUNTAINTOP.
11:13: What's neat is that, I mean, Mac Miller is a good rapper. He's fun and entertaining and he obviously has a place at the table (I think he might be the first self-deprecating white rapper in history to be mass consumed as cool, which is an especially impressive trait, though I can't be certain). He's just very, very likeable and very, very eager and that makes him even more likeable. But, so, all of that only equals up to good rapper status, right? But in concert, HOLY FUCK, in concert he is unstoppable. Like, he is top tier. Songs that are only okay in your headphones are world beaters in concert. That's an especially impressive trait too.
11:15: Aaaaand now we're slowing it down. Mac's new album has a certain tempered charm to it. Like, where his previous Blue Slide Park was mostly go, go, go, this one takes its time to walk around corners. I imagine we're about to spend the next 20 or so minutes where he performs in this manner.
11:15:04 That last time stamp isn't so much based in inference as it is empirical evidence. All of the songs up to this point have been his SUPER SAIYON live tracks ("Loud," "Smile Back," "Goosebumpz," "Lucky Ass Bitch," etc). His band is out for the others ("Kool Aid," "Best Day Ever," "Bird Call," "Question," etc). Sorry.
11:30: Did you know that Mac Miller plays the piano, guitar, bass and drums? Because he does.
11:45: Is Mac Miller the new Jimi Hendrix?
11:53: Closing soon, I'm sure. I wonder if those girls ever got backstage? I wonder if the thin little dude is going to take shit from the thick little mama tonight after the show? I wonder if anyone punched the hooded sweater vest guy in the cock? I wonder if Mos Def is pissed that the DJ called him Mos Def and not Yaasin Bey? I wonder if White People Turn Up Heaven grew their population?
11:58: KABOOOOOOOOOM! THE WAR DOGS ARE OUT. "FRICK PARK MARKET" AND THEN "DONALD TRUMP" AND THE PLACE IS A FIRESTORM AGAIN. DOPE. KING MAC. WHICH BRINGS US TO THE BEST RAP OF THE WEEK.
1-5. Mac Miller, Watching Movies With The Sound Off
Go buy Mac Miller's new album. It's only a handful of dollars. Or you can stream the whole thing above.
Photography courtesy of Marco Torres
Shea Serrano is a writer living in Houston, TX. His work has appeared in the Houston Press, LA Weekly, Village Voice, XXL, The Source, Grantland and more. You can follow him on Twitter here.