Mac Miller’s “Circles”

A Fitting Farewell From The Inspirational Rapper


On September 7th, 2018, Pittsburg rapper Mac Miller died from an accidental overdose just after his previous album, Swimming, was released. Known for crafting tranquil but eccentric music, his new album, Circles, definitely left a final goodbye to Mac’s fans and spiraled out of his traditional rap music.
The first song on the album titled “Circles” starts with a mellow beat and definitely sets the tone for the rest of the album. “And I cannot be changed, I cannot be changed. Trust me, I’ve tried. I just end up right at the start of the line. Drawing circles.” It’s clear that he will bring up the topic of change throughout the album, and reflects on his life but without the rap aspect which compares to his last albums Swimming, The Divine Feminine, and Blue Slide Park. On “Hand Me Downs”, he sings about repeating the same patterns and being stuck in a “rock and hard place”, but wanting to continue a legacy as an only child in his family. Every song on the album feeds euphonious lyrics, including “Surf” where he sings about accepting his flaws and wanting growth. “I know we try and the days, they go by until we get old. There’s water in the flowers, let’s grow.”
Listening to “That’s on Me” and “Woods” gave a certain gentle texture that signified Miller’s emotional pain that can’t seem to evaporate overnight or in a matter of days. “Yeah, things like this ain’t built to last. I might just fade like those before me. When will you forget my past?” Although it’s not the first time Mac has addressed or has played his emotional pain in his music, Circles gave us more than just his emotional pain; it was therapeutic.

On his past albums, he addressed his past heartbreaks, mental health struggles, and addiction but never seemed to seek acceptance. “I always sayin’ I won’t change but I ain’t the same,” Mac raps on his previous album Swimming, so Circles definitely gave us a breath of fresh air, especially since he barely touched on his long-established rap style in this new album. Every song on the album left a strong representation of Miller, before and after his passing and left us with a peaceful goodbye, and continued the legacy of the popular rapper.