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Album Review

Singer Ariana Grande got quite shy when asked about her relationship with alternative rapper and jazzy R&B singer Mac Miller on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. DeGeneres referenced the fact that the two had performed on her program three years ago, then added, "I asked you something about him, and you said, 'Oh, you know, I'm his homey,' and now he's living in your homey." In between embarrassed misuses of God's name and covering her face with her jacket, Grande said, "This is so crazy. I've never, like, had the relationship talk on a show before."

But if she's bashful about DeGeneres asking her about her relationship with Miller, one wonders how she feels about her current beau's extraordinarily explicit depiction of the female anatomy on his album The Divine Feminine. And indeed, it's an album in which he gets very close to equating sex with divinity.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

The album's two best moments come courtesy of verbal samples from other people. After the last track, "God Is Fair, Sexy Nasty," there's a voiceover from Miller's grandmother talking about meeting and marrying her husband. It's as sweet and old-fashioned as the album itself is "nasty" (just like the song says). Miller's grandmother says of her deceased husband, "I love the fact that he sensed how my feelings were, and I learned to understand and respect and see his feelings and understand his feelings ahead of time." She concludes that they had "a good marriage and a wonderful family, and I know he really had a beautiful life, and I did too."

Meanwhile, "Soulmate" begins with a sample from Robin Williams' Good Will Hunting character Sean Maguire exhorting Matt Damon's character to find a good woman: "Do you feel like you're alone, Will? You have a soulmate? Somebody who challenges you. I'm talking about someone who opens up things for you—touches your soul."

Album opener "Congratulations" finds Miller telling a woman, "See a love like mine is too good to be true." He also says, "Bought a wedding ring, it's in my pocket," but …

Objectionable Content

… he fails to pop the question ("Planned to ask the other day/Knew you'd run away, so I just forgot it") even though she's already moved in with him ("Now we got our own apartment").

That track also contains the lyric, "Love, love, love, love, love (sex)." But, honestly, it might be more accurate if it were flipped—"Sex, sex, sex, sex, sex (love)." There's a bit of love on The Divine Feminine, but a lot more carnal references. Over and over again, songs combine the f-word in a sexual context with graphic references (both slang and anatomically correct) to both women and men's body parts and various sexual acts. Oral sex is repeatedly referenced in lyrical detail, as are other sexual acts.

Lust, intercourse and spiritual jargon get tangled up repeatedly, such as when Miller says, "I swear that a-- what heaven's like" (again on "Congratulations"). Similar themes mingle on "God Is Fair, Sexy Nasty": "Don't you know your body been mine?/ … One day, four times/ … Your divinity has turned me into a sinner." "Dang!" finds Miller exclaiming, "Kiss me, touch me, tease me, me excited/God, the devil, who is who?"

"Cinderella" implies an underage tryst ("Cinderella better get your a-- home/Man, I swear the parents just don't understand") and suggests that having intercourse is equivalent to being an adult ("You ain't gotta be old to be a man"). We also hear, "We started on the bed, and then we moved to the floor/ … I though you was an angel, now you yellin' to the Lord."

"Planet God D--n" repeats that line twice as a Miller graphically describes a woman's body and calls her a "goddess." "We" profanely says that a couple has sex so often that they don't even talk. Profanity and vulgarities (f-words, s-words, "g--d--n," "a--," "p---y," "d--k") can be found on nearly every track. We also hear several nods to getting drunk and smoking marijuana.

Summary Advisory

There's one surprising, candid moment of reality near the end of album opener "Congratulations." Miller talks about the mundane stuff of everyday life and even suggests that his cohabiting partner doesn't actually want to have sex all the time. "Same box for the mail/Same hamper for the laundry, the food in the fridge is stale," he narrates. "And this mornin' you cooked the eggs with the kale/I tried to hit while you was getting' dressed/You said, 'All you ever think about is sex.'"

It's a down-to-earth acknowledgement of what living with another person really looks like, day in and day out: bills, laundry, groceries, cooking, and even the acknowledgement that there's something more to life than just physical intimacy. This is not the stuff of typical rap songs. And there's nothing else like it—save perhaps grandma's wholesome reflections—on the balance of the album.

I suspect that if Miller asked his grandmother what it takes to make a marriage last a lifetime, she'd have something to teach him about how all those pieces fit together. I'm guessing she'd say that happily married couples discover that a successful marriage includes a healthy sexual relationship, but that it's also about so much more than just that.

Miller, however, isn't quite there yet. "All you ever think about is sex," his live-in girlfriend—perhaps Ariana Grande, if this line is interpreted autobiographically—tells him. And she's right.

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles



Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews



Readability Age Range







Debuted at No. 2.

Record Label

Warner Bros.




September 27, 2016

On Video

Year Published



Adam R. Holz

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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