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Free Nationals Share Mac Miller's First Posthumous Verse On 'Time'

Mac Miller posthumously features on Free Nationals' new single.
G L Askew II for NPR
Mac Miller posthumously features on Free Nationals' new single.

Nine months after his death, Mac Miller still hasn't left the mind of the rap world. Always an avid collaborator, Mac teamed up with Anderson .Paak's Free Nationals before his passing and now, fans get to hear it. "Time" marks the first posthumous release that has been sanctioned by the rapper's family.

Smooth and strident, the beat on "Time" (also featuring Kali Uchis) is anchored by acoustic guitar and bass. As the follow-up to Free Nationals' 2018 single "Beauty & Essex" featuring Daniel Caesar and Unknown Mortal Orchestra, "Time" has the same sense of jazzy effortlessness, but the subject matter is about letting go of love.

"I gotta take some time to grow / But without you I'm miserable," Uchis sings on the chorus, just before Mac Miller's voice cuts through.

"I don't trip, but I slip, I fall / Sleep all day maybe miss your call / Like I been missing you / Still I continue tied up and trippin' / I'm making the wrong decisions and you sick of it all," Mac Miller rhymes with lethargic, meandering delivery.

After Kali Uchis and Mac Miller finish their verses, the track rides out on a silky stream of horns before the swift deluge all the way down.

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Sidney Madden is a reporter and editor for NPR Music. As someone who always gravitated towards the artforms of music, prose and dance to communicate, Madden entered the world of music journalism as a means to authentically marry her passions and platform marginalized voices who do the same.