Weekly Song Spotlight: Diablo – Mac Miller

Weekly Song Spotlight: Diablo - Mac Miller

Tristan Hasseman, Editor

Since its release on Soundcloud in 2014, Diablo by Mac Miller has been a key piece on Millers 2014 mixtape “Faces”.  One of the greatest mixtapes of all time, Faces was never put on streaming services as an album, only available in parts on Soundcloud and on physical copies via vinyl and CD.  The decision to originally release Faces as a mixtape gave Mac options, allowing him to do whatever he wanted and experiment with instrumentals without fear of copyright issues. With the posthumous reissue of Faces this year, the project has jumped into the charts and has regained popularity.

The beat on Diablo was created by Mac himself, under his producer pseudonym Larry Fisherman.  Sampling “In a Sentimental Mood” by Duke Ellington and John Coltrane, Miller utilizes classic jazz samples that are the foundation of Faces.  Mac introduces himself at the beginning of the track, referring to himself as the “Rap Diablo” which means rap devil.  People speculate this introduction as a direct contrast to Eminem, both of them being prominent white rappers.  But unlike Eminem who was the self proclaimed “Rap god” Mac claims to the the “Rap devil” right from the start.

Diablo is three minutes of intricate, witty lyrics strung between countless cultural references.  Mac’s delivery is fast but efficient, flowing smoothly between bars and ideas.  His verses are a stream of consciousness ranging from topics such as him reaching for a calm state of mind to contemplating his status as a celebrity and star.

In the second and final verse of Diablo, Mac raps about the music industry and his mentality for success.   He understands that the race for success as an artist is a marathon, not a sprint.  And Mac knows this better than anyone else since he released five separate projects from 2011 to 2014.  That is an impressive feat when you realize those projects aren’t full of uncreative radio tailored songs but highly thought out personal songs.

Today Diablo and Faces are just as relevant as they were in 2014, and with Mac’s passing the message of many of the songs take a different meaning.  Unlike so many other songs that are forgotten within a year, Diablo’s ability to stay relevant and evolve with the times is the proof of its quality.