With digital remasters, remakes, fresh visuals and a secret folder of bonus content, Miller’s legacy has been well taken care of since his untimely passing in 2018. Saying on multiple occasions that he was “not on this Earth” during the tape’s conception, Faces’ rollout to DSPs in late 2021 bonded together Mac fans both old and new.
While Miller’s death still evokes strong feelings of remembrance across the industry, having him “back” still felt inexplicably real upon Faces’ official release. Now nine years later, those feelings are still there on the anniversary of his classic
Miller mainly self-produced the project under his producer alias Larry Fisherman, with contributions from Thundercat, 9th Wonder, and Earl Sweatshirt under his alias randomblackdude. Guest appearances on the album not only include Earl, but Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, Rick Ross, Mike Jones, Vince Staples and Thundercat on the bass as well. The remastered version also comes complete with a bonus track titled “Yeah.” With timeless tracks in “Therapy,” “Grand Finale,” “Funeral,” “Polo Jeans,” “Diablo,” “Colors and Shapes” — which received a beautifully animated music video — and many more, Mac’s legacy resides in the unabashed sincerity he has with himself over the course of the LP.
Fans got one more look at Miller in the posthumous visual for “San Francisco” last year, as the colorful, passing gradients finds Mac in a disorientated state. With infrared effects, soulful singing and heavy bars, “San Francisco” was only one of the visuals to feature Mac himself. Miller’s team also dropped a short film taking fans through the creative process of Faces, showcasing Miller kicking it, grinding in the studio and speaking on “finding himself through the music” to make Faces something “completely my own.”
As Miller’s voice still rings throughout our headphones, so does the tragedy that ultimately engulfed his very existence. Faces details the unnerving vices that made Mac for who he was — unashamed and unafraid of being utterly honest with not only the listener, but to himself. With alter egoes in “Larry Fisherman” or “Delusional Thomas” to personify his struggles with addiction, it’s about the kinds of Faces we put on for one another — facing the truth for who we want to be.
Faces is a special mixtape. Rest In Peace, Malcolm.
Watch the short film ‘Making Faces’ below!