Mac Miller approached his sophomore studio album, “Watching Movies With the Sound Off,” the same way he’s taken on life, letting the pieces naturally fall into place.
“I don’t plan too much. I’m a firm believer of things coming together on their own,” he told The Juice of the making of his album. “The more I tried to force it the more it ate away at me. I stayed up for weeks making this track list and I had people in the room, asking [them] what song they liked but it wasn’t until everyone left and I sat down myself that it came together. I was like, ‘Stop being a bitch. You know your album. Just do it.’
Mac Miller let his own thoughts guide him through the album’s creative process. “I wanted everything to be free thought, just let my mind travel. The whole album I isolated myself from the rest of the world and explored my own head and this (‘Watching Movies With the Sound Off’) is what happened,” he said.
When it came to finalizing his personal album, Mac Miller also looked within himself for guidance. The rapper “wrote an essay” in which he broke down “why each song belongs on the album and what purpose it fills.” “I didn’t follow a storyline,” he said. “I had a lot of songs so I had to give myself a reason for each; If there was a reason the song is there then I can’t doubt it, I can’t hide from it and it needs to be on there.”
Once the album was laced, DJ Clockwork introduced Mac Miller to a movie of a sea turtle’s evolution and journey. Mac Miller felt that the movie not only fit perfectly with the theme and soundscapes of “Watching Movies With the Sound Off” but it also helped him understand his own album better.
While Mac had the Billboard 200 No. 1 spot in his mind when making his first album, “Blue Slide Park” — which he earned after debut week — he didn’t when taking on “Watching Movies With the Sound Off.” “When making ‘Blue Slide Park’ I went in thinking, ‘you have three months to make your album.’ I was like, ‘I want a No. 1 album. That’s what I want out of it.’ And I fuckin’ made a No. 1 album so you can suck my dick,” he jokes. “With this one, I didn’t. I was just making music. My engineer Josh and I were even getting weirded out of even making this into an ‘album’ because it was so much about making the music and me on this journey.”
And while going against Kanye West, J. Cole and Kelly Rowland for the No. 1 slot, earning the slot isn’t on the forefront of Mac Miller’s mind: “I’m voting for Kanye, I think he’s gonna get it. But it’s not a big deal.”
Mac Miller walked us through the making of “Watching Movies With the Sound Off,” its collaborations, and the meaning behind each track off the deluxe version. Check it out above.
Before you do, the rapper has a message for all his fans: “Don’t take it to seriously. This is my album but I want everyone to interpret it in their own way. Have your own experience.”