The release of Circles brought fans back into Mac Miller’s world; a world full of jazzy instrumentals, thought-provoking lyrics, heartache and life lessons. Circles picked right up where 2018’s Swimming left off and true fans won’t be disappointed in Mac Miller’s genuine and concise delivery. In this intimate album, Mac is at his most vulnerable state as a rapper. The album has a feeling of completeness and like many Mac Miller albums of the past, there are some true-life lessons to be learned. Here we break down four lessons we learned from the rapper’s first posthumous album.
Mac Miller was gifted with the talent of painting pictures through his lyrics. It’s an art that the self-taught musician has perfected, evident from this release. The late rapper has always been an advocate for dreaming big and that lesson isn’t lost throughout Circles. His creative mind seems to never stop whirling with thoughts, be they good or bad, and ideas for change and greatness. Through his struggles, he acknowledges his dreams and doesn’t give up on the happiness he knows them to bring.
Never Give Up
This lesson could be in reference to the former, but its relevance reaches so many other levels. His struggle with mental health was noted in many of his songs from past albums, and it is a struggle that many young people deal with today. Songs like “Complicated” give a look into how simple things can make the difficult and though he questions why Mac doesn’t give up. Similarly, on “Blue World” he raps “One of these days we’ll all get by.” His cadence and tone throughout the verse feels down but not out, and though he knows he is dealing with a lot, giving up isn’t the best way out.
Though this lesson is prominent throughout the album, it is a difficult one to hear given the rapper’s passing. On previous albums from Mac, we’ve heard him openly speak about some of his daily battles. On the opening track of this album, Mac confidently raps “I cannot be changed, no. Trust me I’ve tried.” We’ve all had those days of feeling inadequate, and the need to live up to a societal standard can be overwhelming and exhausting. On this title track, Mac gives the ok to accept who you are and to eliminate that extra stress. In his acceptance he raps “Don’t you put any more stress on yourself, it’s one day at a time”. Such a simple line but something we all need to hear at some point in our lives.
Through the trials and battles of mental health and acceptance of Circles there is a lesson of love. An emotional being, love was not something taken lightly by Mac. Though it may not have always shown through his actions it is not hard to believe that Mac Miller loved hard. Lyrics like “If you’re with me I’ll never go away” on the track “Everybody” are extremely heartfelt and genuine. Though his romantic relationships were highly publicized its honest lyrics like this that give way to the importance of loving with all you’ve got.
Circles feels like the ending to a trilogy Mac started with 2018’s Swimming. From such a great thinker and rapper, we wish we could hear more, but know that his legacy will live on through his music. Even from the other side Mac Miller is still delivering lessons of life and the truth we all need to hear sometimes. For that cultural influence, we are grateful and accepting.