Stephen Colbert’s Monday night show was for the hip-hop heads. Nicki Minaj came through for a memorable interview before giving way to a performance from Mac Miller. Miller did “Ladders,” a funky cut from his new album Swimming, which featured a large backing band who you may recognize as Jon Batiste and Stay Human, complete with trumpets, saxophones, and a grand piano. Like many of the songs on the album, at times it felt more like a soul performance than a rap show, down to Mac working his mic stand for the majority of the track.
Mac recently spoke to Zane Lowe about the creative direction he took on Swimming. “I went on a journey with it,” he said. “It took a long time to even figure out what it was. Usually, I finish a record and the next week, I know exactly what I’m doing next. That’s why I’ve been able to come every year. This time, it took me a while to figure out what I wanted to say.”