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.
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.