A bittersweet finale

Perkins reflects on Mac Miller’s two part album

Photo features rapper Mac Miller. Contributed from Flickr.com.

Photo by: flickr.com

Photo features rapper Mac Miller. Contributed from Flickr.com.

Story by Keith Perkins, Reporter

Malcolm McCormack, better known as Mac Miller, was born January 19, 1992 in Pittsburgh. He discovered an affinity for rapping at the age of 14, and by age 15, his interests in sports had mostly subsided in favor of taking his music more seriously. 

Mac’s 2018 album titles ‘Swimming’ became his fifth straight album to chart on the billboard top 200. 

In September 2018, he died of an accidental drug overdose at age 26. His fans held a celebration of his life in Pittsburgh’s Blue Slide Park, the inspiration behind the name of his first album. 

On Jan, 17, Mac’s final album ‘Circles’ was posthumously released. 

The first song on the album and title song ‘Circles’ is a melancholy sound, but retains Mac’s ever-positive attitude, encouraging listeners to not feel stressed. The second track ‘Complicated’ is a more upbeat track musically, but less so lyrically.

I found myself feeling the saddest I’ve felt writing this as Mac utters that he is “way too young to be getting old.” In this song he wonders introspectively why things have to be as complicated as they are. I liked ‘Complicated’ a lot. 

The third song on the album ‘Blue World’ is the most positive so far, but throughout the song Mac reflects on his inner problems, but manages to ultimately maintain a positive attitude about his situation. 

The fourth track ‘Good News’ features a sad beat and lyrics reflecting Mac’s overwhelmingness with the harshness of life, and his disappointment that people only want to hear “Good News” but aren’t as interested in the unavoidable negatives. ‘Good News’ resonated heavily with me and is my favorite on the Album so far. 

The fifth track ‘I Can See’ begins more fast paced than the others, with Mac displaying his versatility as an artist, on top of more soulful music. 

The sixth song ‘Everybody’ is a partial cover of Arthur Lee’s ‘Everybody’s Gotta Live’ and begins with a reminder of life’s goods and bads, “everybody’s gotta live, and everybody’s gonna die”. The song has reminded me of the importance of remembering Mac and others gone too soon for all the good their art has done, and all the lives its changed, as opposed to their sad untimely passing. The seventh song ‘Woods’ was a song I liked less than others on the album. 

The eighth song ‘Hand Me Downs’ is somewhat of a self reassurance, and a reflection of the difficulty Mac faced. I especially liked ‘Hand Me Downs’. 

The Ninth track ‘That’s On Me’ is one of the more upbeat sounding on the album, but contrasting lyrics with Mac offering responsibility for a difficulty he has caused, singing “That’s on me, that’s on me, it’s all my fault”, and Mac continues telling the person he’s addressing throughout the song to stay with him, and not let him down. ‘That’s on me’ was one of my favorite songs on the album. 

The tenth track ‘Hands’ offers insight into Mac’s anxiousness, as he asks himself why he is worried about what hasn’t happened yet. ‘Hands’ is not shy about Mac’s shortcomings, rather asking himself why he allows them to manifest. 

The Eleventh and second to last song ‘Surf’ is performed as almost spoken word, and addresses a girl. Mac reminds her that despite the adversity, they will both figure it out, and offers that they improve together. I liked ‘Surf’ a lot. 

The final song on the album ‘Once A Day’ talks about Mac’s most personal struggle with himself and substances alike. As the album ends I find myself teary eyed, thinking that this is the culmination of Mac’s career, which seems over before it even started. I told myself writing this I would remain objective in my evaluation, and I liked every song on the album. It showcased Mac’s unique introspective style, and ultimate positivity. I loved Circles, even if it means an end to an illustrious career. I encourage everybody, prior fan of Mac’s or not, to give it a listen.