New Music – Pittsburgh Era


As a kid growing up in Pittsburgh, it was impossible not to hear the name Mac Miller being shouted out during the hallways of middle school when K.I.D.S., Miller’s first introduction was pushed into my vision. While I was never a huge fan, I could have never imagined that only three years later, I would become immediately engaged with the Pittsburgh MC as a burning monument for exactly what I wanted to hear.

The way that Miller could completely capture these psychedelic samples from artists like Black Moth Super Rainbow and twist them into beats that I could practically hear in my sleep. Then with the right-hook punch of lyrics that were somewhat relatable even when he talked about the luxuries of a higher-class life that I never saw. Miller just had this power to become an older brother figure to a wide range of kids in Pittsburgh and frankly, all over the planet.

He touched some of his darker sides with Faces, made a reawakening on GO:OD AM, made love seem reachable with The Divine Feminine, brought me to tears and showed how human he was with Swimming, then tragically passed away, forever etching a broken stamp on one of Pittsburgh’s musical heroes. It was a much darker time in Pittsburgh where the sun seemed to shine less and the aura of the life here just was off. There was an immediate void that translated directly to his death. Reading the headline even a year later, I still am unable to correctly capture how unbelievable it is. Someone who I have only met once in passing, seen in concert only one time, and only knew from what I had read or heard from other people in Pittsburgh, was now missing almost as if my metaphorical older brother really had passed.

So now with the final release of Circles, a record that had all the intentions of submitting directly to tears, actually brought more smiles than any pain. It alleviated so much of that void that was directly underneath the surface of listening to anything that would be leaked or rumored. It was this 12 track release that had so much heart, but still almost felt as if Mac Miller was not the main artist on the record. It is labeled under Miller, has his handprint all over the album, but the step so far away from any sense of hip-hop into a more funk-fueled transition is more beautiful than hurtful.

Circles is this final realization of some tracks that Mac Miller may have never wanted to have an audience see the light of day. All I know personally is that I am glad there was something after Swimming that longtime fans can rest upon and hopefully gain some closure. From his friends that were unable to explain what Miller meant to them, their pain continues on. Circles will not bring Miller back, but at least it can close the chapter on a Pittsburgh era that made me proud to be from this steel castle of potential.

Listen To Circles Here!!! – Spotify/Amazon/iTunes

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