When going through Mac Miller‘s full discography and discussing fan-favorite projects, there are always some that will stick out. K.I.D.S. is a nostalgic classic, Swimming is a modern masterpiece, but rarely do we hear people bring up his experimental 2013 mixtape, Delusional Thomas.
For those unacquainted with the one-off alter-ego, Delusional Thomas is a persona that Mac assumes for the entire project. The one glaring difference is that Delusional Thomas raps with a pitched-up voice. While this may be jarring for the average listener at first, it’s quickly forgotten as you’re immediately sucked into the intoxicating and disorienting world of this new character.
This mixtape was released shortly after Mac’s third studio album Watching Movies With The Sound Off. If Watching Movies was a step into a heavier and more experimental sound (especially after Blue Slide Park), Delusional Thomas was a plunge into the darkest depths of Mac’s mind. There are plenty of lines throughout this project that, if you catch them, will stop you dead in your tracks.
Pathological liar / Went to my girlfriend’s house and set her dog on fire / Blamed it on her little brother, got him sent to juvie / Fucked her in the bathroom while her dad was watching movies / Reach inside my backpack for the fully loaded uzi / Started shootin’ up the room he was in / That Chappelle’s Show episode, you know, Paul Mooney was in – “Halo”
Of course, Delusional Thomas isn’t simply great for its darkness. It also exhibits Mac’s skillful rhyming and world play more than any other project in his career at this point.
Now things are looking up, recommend the mescaline / Digest in your intestines with intentions of ascension up / Heavens no, my head is hot cause hell is cold / The bitch I’m smashing into fashion / But I know the devil wear a leopard coat – “Bill”
While Delusional Thomas, on paper, is different than much of what we had heard from Mac prior to its release, the project is, as a whole, unapologetically him. The tape features three different faces of Mac Miller wrapped all into one. You have the main character: Delusional Thomas; the producer: Larry Fisherman, and a “guest” feature by the man himself: Mac Miller. The only parts that are not Mac are the features from Earl Sweatshirt, Bill, and Da$h.
It’s also worth noting that this is the first full piece of work that Mac Miller produced all on his own. Watching Movies featured a good amount of his own production, but there were still other tracks produced by Clams Casino, Flying Lotus, Chuck Inglish, and more.
For some reason, Delusional Thomas is criminally slept on. It could be the fact that it only officially lives on SoundCloud, or that the pitched-up vocals may turn listeners off, but a deep listen of this project will give you a new appreciation of Mac Miller’s career. Or at least it should.
You can stream the 2013 mixtape in its entirety below.