Listening to albums is a full time job. Every day, new bodies of work flood iTunes and your favorite mixtape sites. I love the process of giving an album a spin from start to finish. It’s like test driving a car: wavering back and forth between committing and seeking alternatives with every turn. After a few listens, I tend to pick out favorites I religiously quote, place on playlists and recommend to friends.
The Standout is here to highlight one record from a particular album that fits the criteria above.
Album: Mac Miller’s The Divine Feminine
Song: “Planet God Damn” featuring Njomza
Have you ever seen those memes that read “I want love like a ‘90s R&B song”? Of course you have. It’s a valid opinion, because you had Jodeci, Boyz II Men, Brian McKnight, and countless others painting an idealistic, imaginary version of what love can and should look like. On his fourth album, Mac Miller turns this meme into a song, titled “Planet God Damn,” that looks to this fantasy, and, by the end of the album, feels like it’s come alive.
On The Divine Feminine, “Cinderella” and “Planet God Damn” both represent dreams and hopes respectively. The hope is that Mac’s next love (Ariana) will wind up being in the same vein as those ‘90s R&B songs he’s enjoyed in the past. A huge part of what made those records good is that they was honesty in the words. Not the deceitful nature of many R&B artists today, and some of the past like Joe and Tyrese. When it comes to relationships, honesty is one of the top things everyone wants. So, “Planet God Damn” is full of that:
“We could quit the whole game, do the real estate
Things how you beat the case
Put in work, turn that p***y to the office
Be on top of your game cause you’re a goddess
Now I ain’t here to break a promise
I’m just tryna keep it honest, and honestly”
Old R&B songs always had those ridiculous claims of what they would do just to be with you. Mac has a more grounded interpretation by proclaiming he’ll quit hip-hop and jump into the real estate industry. Less touring, more time for this dream girl. And what kind of song would this be if it wasn’t oozing with sex appeal? The above office line is just one of many found to reflect his lustful nature, another subtle inspiration from ‘90s R&B. Apparently, dream girl is better in bed than riding a Six Flags ride, which would be a long wait in the sun while she’s just ready with no tickets needed.
Where this R&B-inspired comparison comes full circle is Mac Miller’s cheesy lines segment. “Girl what’s on your brain? Cause that head is stupid,” he raps. “Lotta people suck a d**k, but you can execute it.” It’s so ridiculous, but I can’t help but crack a smile.
Mac really covered all the bases, including the divine vocals of Njomza, his artist signed to REMember, who sings about telling the truth and wanting to see the real “you.” If this was in fact the 1990s, “Planet God Damn” would be all over the airwaves. It’d go triple platinum. Probably even win a Grammy, because why not? Most importantly, this would be a push in the right direction to find the dream girl he longs for. But bringing it back up to 2016, Mac has found her and by the time “God Is Fair, Sexy, Nasty” ends, he’s got a clear outline for how he wants the rest of this love to play out. To end on a cheesy note — Mac would want it this way — follow your dreams and watch them transpire right in front of your eyes.