I hope Mac appreciates every word of what I am about to write. May he rest in peace.
Mac’s two songs “Planet God Damn” and “Soulmate” go together better than any other combination of songs that I have ruthlessly played on repeat. Maybe I’ve been addicted to this combo because I’m far away from someone I truly love, but these tracks have been in my heart every single day for three weeks now.
If you aren’t familiar with these particular songs, please read on because even if your heart doesn’t particularly need to hear them right now, you will not regret what you hear. This duo of songs is from Mac’s (2016) The Divine Feminine, a beautiful project that evokes emotionality in all its complicated factors.
Mac Miller’s legacy will continue forever. Mac’s influence on the music industry and culture as a whole is more expensive than what other artists typically accomplish in a lifetime career. If his music tells us anything, it is that he struggled with and was honest about his struggles with addiction, love, societal norms and more, but he did so with a contagious smile on his face — a smile that is permanently ingrained in a plethora of brains around the world. I am guilty of not truly dedicating myself to Mac until his passing. I knew who he was, I skimmed through the albums, but I never sat and listened through his projects because I always felt like I could come back to it. This is a crime, in my opinion. And ever since his tragic death, I have been aware that I missed the evolution of an incredibly talented individual. All I can do now is try and spread his legacy of love.
If you are not familiar with The Divine Feminine, it is the most passionate of Mac’s projects. It is clear his head is in a state of persistent love — and this love comes with obstacles that he cannot overcome alone. The album evokes a heartwarming feeling that his heart is meant for someone, and in turn, a listener feels something incredibly close to second-hand affection. Mac is dedicating his soul, time, attention, his very heart to someone in the form of an album. This intense dedication shines throughout in “Planet God Damn” and “Soulmate.”
“Planet God Damn” starts with mellow, calming, instrumentals that make me want to close my eyes and get lost in a daydream. Mac intros with a “Yeah, I think I’m stuck inside nostalgia” that runs so smoothly along with the beat. Then, he comes in with an electronic video game-type beat. The production quality is impeccable, to nobody’s surprise. At the end of the first verse, Mac sings “Put in work / Turn that pussy to the office / Be on top of your game / This here a goddess.” He is comparing his lover to a divine character: She is a goddess. He loves her because her perfection shines like a goddess, at least to him.
In verse two, my favorite part of the song, Mac sings “Girl what’s on your brain cause that head is stupid / Lot of people sucking dick, but you can execute it / Perfect timing, don’t you add another second to it / Dont you ever ever ever ever ever do it.” I think love is sexual, and Mac is saying that his is spoken through body language. He has an overwhelming amount of devotion and respect for this goddess and he is certainly not trying to characterize their relationship as only sexual. He is dedicating a song to the explanation that she comes from a planet called “God Damn.”
“Soulmate” is next on this album, and if you get all types of feelings from “Planet God Damn,” you better sit down because this track is even more spiritual. There is a similar electronic dub in this song, moving from ear to ear in my headphones, moving from side to side in my car. Again, this one makes me want to close my eyes and immerse myself into every part of it. At about 20 seconds, the song begins with a sample of Robin Williams speaking to Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting. He says to him:
“Do you feel like you’re alone in this world? Do you have a soulmate? Somebody who challenges you? I’m talking about someone who opens up things for you, touches your soul? You can’t give back to them, you know. You can never have that relationship in a world when you’re always afraid to take the first step because all you see is every negative thing ten miles down the road. But you can do anything you want, you are bound by nothing.”
I didn’t think I would include that entire quote, but it really has stuck with me. Mac comes in right after singing “are you my Soulmate?” so melodically that I melt into the song. He sings “My angel, what do you want with me?” He is showing a similar respect that we saw in “Planet God Damn.”
Verse one is full of love and spiritual awakenings, as Mac sings “I think you’re too divine for my human mind/ When I’m with you what do you do to bring me to life.” God, I melt for this line. The person you love, the person you want to be with for the rest of your life, your soulmate is supposed to bring you to life. The way Mac sings this, the way in which he sounds like he is singing to his one and only person, it becomes clear he is singing this to his soulmate. He continues, “No matter what one day everyone dies/ You’ll think you are good ‘til you run out of time/ When you’re gone/ What will you leave behind?” Mac always sang about death without suggesting an obsessive fear within him. On the contrary, he gave off the vibe that, well, everyone dies.
Next we hit the chorus where I continue to melt into the electronic beat with the lyrics of “You’re the one to show me/ Divine, Love, Love, Love, Love/ Where was you when I was lonely/ My Divine, Love, Love, Love, Love.” He sings to a feeling so divine I have faith it must be real. Maybe it’s foolish of me to give so much power to a song, but Mac is feeling everything so openly that I feel empowered to love love.
Mac continues into verse two with a constant melodic tone. Toward the middle of the verse, he sings “Do you know, I’m in pain/ I give you clues/ You misconstrued/ You continue to push me far away/ Why don’t you come on in? It’s like you forgot my face/ I just want a taste of everything you made of/ We ain’t.” As the beat drops he sings “Cut the strings, My Balloon, Watch me fly.” This is such a beautifully crafted line and metaphor that I sing it so freaking loudly. He continues, “Are you happy with your life? Can I come and satisfy? Open up, Let me inside. When you take off all your clothes, I am under your control, Rolling up, You get me high.” This flows right into the enchanting chorus.
I realize I just typed out the entire second verse and if you are reading this you probably could have looked it up, but lord it just speaks volumes, I felt like I had to type it out. Thank you for reading this is what I am trying to say.
To continue, I think Mac is expressing how much pain he has been through because of his love for his soulmate. He is telling us it’s okay to feel pain while also feeling an overwhelming amount of affection — he’s asking not to be pushed away just because of this pain. What a beautiful way to try and be let in. He knows it’s hard, and he knows his soulmate is not letting him in, but the way this verse blends into the chorus I have reason to believe his love eventually lets him in.
The song closes with “When the Stereo plays our song/ Sounds so good/ Baby, where’d you go?/ What’s so wrong?/ I’m right here.” I think Mac realizes that this feeling is scary, scarier than is imaginable at times. He is realizing that he loves this person too much to be normal, that this has to be his soulmate. I think he has come to terms with that. But I believe he feels his soulmate is pushing him away. I think he is putting his feelings for her into a song and telling her that no matter what’s wrong, where she goes, he is there for her. What’s crazy is that love can be that simple, love is about showing up and being there for your soulmate, Mac is doing just that.
I did not think I was going to write so prolifically about these two songs, but they are just so beautiful. I am filled with love just by listening to them and the combinations of them back to back even have the effect of making me feel loved. Maybe this feeling is coming from my heart being heavy because I am so far away from my soulmate right now, but I choose to believe that if you listen, you will feel warmth and love too.