Pittsburgh born and raised, Mac Miller tragically passed away on Sept. 7, 2018 at only 26 years old. Through his many albums and singles, Miller showed that he wasn’t just a typical rapper. Instead, he showed how versatile he was. In his song “Smile Back,” one of his lyrics is “I’m Lennon mixed with UGK,” which compares himself to two artists on opposite spectrums. John Lennon was a rock singer who had a more mellow tone to his music. UGK was a hip-hop duo that had a completely different vibe with more hardcore old school rap. He could easily jump back and forth form spitting rhymes to playing the piano with a more serious vibe. Here’s a playlist of Mac Miller’s songs to celebrate his life and his work.
1. “Smile Back”
This song is from Mac’s debut album titled “Blue Slide Park,” named after a park in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, where he spent a lot of time. It’s a very high energy song, expressing that Mac Miller is doing well despite the hate he might get. To all his haters, he’s just smiling back even when people hate on him and judge him. Miller said it felt so good to put all of that on the table and let people know that he doesn’t care what other people think.
2. “Small Worlds”
This song takes a different turn than some of his tracks, as it is very somber and has a slow tempo. This song shows Mac Miller’s versatility. He can go from a fast paced track to a more mellow vibe without skipping a beat. He is different from other rap artists in that sense, because he never liked to be defined in one category as a certain type of artist.
This single was released before his final album “Swimming,” breaking his two-year silence. This song was an introduction for what was to follow on his newest and final project, “I am not talkin’ to you if you don’t have love for me.” It showed a different side of him, with Miller taking a step back and focusing on himself. This was a theme throughout “Swimming”
4. “Come Back to Earth”
“My regrets look just like texts I shouldn’t send,” are the amazing lyrics that open this song and Mac’s album “Swimming.” This song conveys a lot of emotion, and it is difficult to listen to now that he has passed. “Come Back to Earth” takes listeners on a journey through Mac’s headspace during this album. In Miller’s own way, he made this deeper track very lighthearted and one that people can listen to and feel somehow hopeful. He talks about how things will always get brighter, saying, “they told me it only gets better.”
5. “Party On Fifth Ave.”
Because he is from Pittsburgh, Pa., a lot of Miller’s songs reference places in ‘the Burgh.’ “Party On Fifth Ave.” is a song about a party scene in Pittsburgh, and Fifth Avenue is a well-known street in the city. In typical Miller fashion, this is a very hyped up song that people can dance to and have a good time.
6. “Self Care”
Mac Miller’s music video is a vital part of to the meaning of this song. He expresses a lot of different emotions in the underlying meaning and lyrics of “Self Care.” At the time of this song, a lot was going on his life including breakups and legal trouble. This song was Miller’s way of saying that he’s starting to look out for himself. In his music video, Miller is in a casket where he carves “memento mori” into the wood on its inside. “Memento mori” means “remember you have to die” in Latin.
This song is dedicated to his childhood friend that passed away, Reuben Eli Mitrani. This song touches on his childhood and how times were just simpler when there was less to worry about. Mac and Reuben were always together making memories without any cares in the world. It goes back and forth between talking about childhood and death, which all seems even more relevant now that he has passed himself. One lyric expresses that “it’s a dark science when your friends start dying.”
8. “Weekend (feat. Miguel)”
This song is one of the biggest all-time hits from his album “GO:OD AM.” It talks about how when the weekend comes around, that’s when Miller comes out and has a good time. Although it talks about the weekend being a time to have fun, some regrets of his are starting to surface, especially now that he is separated from his teen years when he could do anything he wanted.
9. “So It Goes”
This is the last song on his final album, and in that way it speaks volumes. This song feels like closing a book after the final chapter of life. “So It Goes” has a very nostalgic feel to it with his sing-songy voice and beat. The phrase “so it goes” has a connotation to it to move on and that’s just how life goes. Normally it is in reference to death, and people just say “so it goes.”
10. “Best Day Ever”
“It’s a real trippy vibe to it and it’s supposed to be an epic introduction to get you ready to listen to everything. It sums up the message of this project [Best Day Ever]. No matter what, just trying to capture a happy and positive vibe to a situation,” said Mac Miller about this song. This is a positive track, and Miller talks about how you will always find him with a smile on his face wherever he goes.
Check out the playlist to listen to these ten amazing tracks from a legend who will never truly die.