“Colors and Shapes” by Mac Miller
Mac Miller’s “Colors and Shapes” commences with a spoken word sample of the words of one Timothy Leary. Timothy Leary was a 20th century psychologist/writer. And if you were to google his name, one of the first things you would see is that he was “known for his strong advocacy of psychedelic drugs”. So considering this is Mac Miller and all, we already have a good idea where this piece is headed.
“Colors and Shapes”
Indeed Miller enters the equation by referring to “color and shapes”, which by this point we can ascertain are symbolic references pointing to being high on such substances. But in relation to the aforementioned Leary quote, Mac doesn’t come off as if he isn’t getting high just for highness’s sake.
Rather he is doing so in the search of “comfort” and a greater sense of self-awareness, if you will. And the vocalist does in fact appear to be tripping throughout the passage, including him interacting with an imaginary sea captain. But this figure also represents his search for self and accordingly advises the singer to ‘let himself slip’ in the name of achieving wholeness.
Now even though we have already done so numerous times, let us once again point out that this is a drug-fueled/inspired song, being empowered by LSD even. Therefore, listeners should not expect all of the lyrics to make sense per se.
However, there is a discernible idea being put forth throughout. And most simply explained, the thesis sentiment revolves around Mac Miller presenting such drugs as a viable means of escape from the sober world, so to speak. And the reason why such is desirable is because, as presented, the mainstream is unable to appreciate life in its fullest.
So ultimately, this song serves as an elaborate way of putting forth why most people decide to take drugs in the first place, which is basically to achieve a heightened state of awareness, if you will. Or most simply explained, the likes of Miller may find it more edifying being thoroughly high than not.
As of the writing of this post the late Mac Miller (1992-2018) has been dead for over three years. However, him being a rapper and all, he definitely hasn’t been forgotten.
That said, Warner Records originally released this track on 11 May 2014 as part of Mac’s fan favorite mixtape Faces. At the time of its release, it wasn’t accompanied by a music video. However, more than half a decade later (in 2021), Warner Records decided to release an official music video for the tune. This is to coincide with the reissuance of Faces though in this case for the first time ever onto streaming services.
Unfortunately Mac Miller did in fact pass away, at the age of 26, as a result of drug abuse.
Credits for “Colors and Shapes”
Mac wrote and produced this song along with Thundercat. However, in the latter case, Mac is credited under one of his alternate monikers, Larry Fisherman.