What Mac Miller Told Us Through Music

In these last few years, the issue of mental illness and all that it includes has risen to the spotlight. About time, right? With these issues coming to the forefront, we are constantly taught to have those speak up and say more about current situations in order to prevent anything negative from continuing to happen to people battling their inner demons. However, we still somehow ignore the signs we have been given. Recently, we lost another young and talented musician due to his long battle with substance abuse, anxiety and depression. Mac Miller was a musical great who is now being over appreciated after being under appreciated all of these years.

I’ve been a fan of his since day one and have grown up listening to every new mixtape, single and album Miller released. As I got older, I was able to understand and interpret the help and honesty he was displaying in his music about his battles. Yet, people still felt that he wasn’t “speaking up.” For those of you who do not listen to as much of Miller, here are a few of my favorite pieces from him, displaying himself in some of his rawest forms:

  • Starting off, Mac Miller admitted to how his drug usage primarily began due dealing with criticism. Miller has always been honest in interviews about how he turned to drugs to cope with the words and reviews after his album "Blue Slide Park," released in 2011, and while facing criticism on tour for his album, “Macadelic,” released in 2012.
  • “Faces”: "Faces," released in May of 2014, is a mixtape following his studio album "Watching Movies with the Sound Off." The mixtape is a mixture of Mac being open about his recent addictions to Cocaine, Codeine and Angel Dust. Worked into the mixtape are also many references to Mac’s depression and constant thoughts of suicide. The last song of the album titled “Grand Finale” was what Mac admitted to being what he thought could possibly be his last song on this earth.
  • Later on, Mac released yet another studio album “The Divine Feminine.” It was talked about how this album was dedicated to Mac’s girlfriend at the time, singer/songwriter Ariana Grande. This was at a time where Mac was openly sober and discussing how the drug of Love is what got him through and how he finally decided to live his life fully.
  • In Mac’s studio Album titled “GO:OD AM”, it seems portrayed as a mixture of Mac’s lives. Still touching on the past of him intensely using drugs and at the height of his depression but is then leveled with fun and high moments of his current sober state. Two songs on this album truly spoke to me; Perfect Circle/Godspeed and Ascension. These two songs kind of show the vulnerable side of Miller, discussing more of his past struggles. They’re strong in stating how he gave into the evils of life and has learned from his mistakes. In the song "Ascension" particularly, he samples Curtis Mayfield’s classic “Never Say You Can’t Survive.” This album is my personal favorite because throughout it, he still does not try to paint the vision of him being completely perfect.
  • His final album, “Swimming”: This album was released post-Ariana Grande breakup and post-DUI for Mac Miller. In this album he touches on his depression coming back into light due to his break-up from Ariana. In his song 2009, Mac makes numerous references that infer he is back in the same position he was in 2009 when his addiction to drugs first began.

In addition to these findings, I feel as though Mac's death was insinuated. The artist’s final Instagram story played the instrumental outro of his final song on the album “So it Goes.” Going back to his original statements in previous years about how his last song on his album would be his final. 

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