He came on the scene as a hip-hop class clown, firing off rhymes like spitballs aimed at the cool kids.
And then Mac Miller’s first full-length, 2011’s “Blue Slide Park,” became the first independently distributed debut to top the Billboard album chart in 16 years.
All of a sudden, the kind of girls who ignored him in high school were vying for his attention, he went from being underdog to a pinata for hip-hop purists, and a nasty addiction to promethazine soon followed.
As such, disillusion and dark thoughts cloud a portion of Miller’s second studio album, “Watching Movies With the Sound Off,” a more sobering although certainly not sober record.
The beats are mostly murky and spare, while Miller both celebrates his success and feels the heat of the spotlight’s glare.
“Think I’m living paradise, what would I have to worry ’bout?” he sings on “The Star Room.” “Dealing with these demons, feel the pressure, find the perfect style.”
He even sings dolefully at times, such as in “Objects in the Mirror,” a song of heartbreak and regret. “After everything I did, I think I’m still myself,” Miller muses on the tune.
He doesn’t sound so certain, but if he becomes someone else, it’s a more compelling MC.
Contact reporter Jason Bracelin at email@example.com or 702-383-0476. Follow @JasonBracelin on Twitter.