Written by: Isabella Diaz
On Jan. 17, the late local rapper Mac Miller’s posthumous album, Circles, was released. This final album was different from anything he released before; tying the idea of one album (Swimming) to another was a concept he never tried before. Up until Circles came out, Miller had done the most singing on an album but still featured mostly rap. In Circles, it’s the complete opposite, where he is mainly singing and there is very little rap. This transition provides an equal balance within the two albums, relying on similar themes of depression, saving face, and so forth. Each track puts a large emphasis on ideas such as recovery: how the bad days are long, and the good ones are sparse. Circles is overall a great album to complete Miller’s successful career, and it resonated with the Pittsburgh area.
The weekend of the Circles album release brought along plenty of festivities in the ‘burgh. Luckily, I attended all of them and I’m excited to share my experience.
On Friday, Jan. 17, the first event in the Northside was an art exhibition/immersive listening experience that was simultaneously happening in New York and Los Angeles. My friends and I got there 10 minutes early to get a good place in line. We were shocked when we saw that the line wrapped all the way around the block, and the building was smaller than a Carlow classroom. After 2.5 hours filled with huddling and shivering, we made it to the front of the line where we could see into the exhibit. Upon entrance we were surrounded by prints of Miller during his final days, fan art, childhood pictures, and more. There
was also a pop-up shop in the back, selling merchandise in which the proceeds benefitted the Mac Miller Circles fund.
Throughout the weekend, we visited some of the murals of him as well. My favorite mural is in East Liberty on 250 Paulson Ave. It’s only a short drive away from campus. The other mural we visited is located on the Northside, on the corner of East Ohio and James St. It was created in anticipation for the album by local artist, Jeremy Raymer.
On Sunday Jan. 19, Miller’s birthday, there was a party thrown for him at Stage AE. After finally getting in, we were welcomed by huge balloons and Miller’s discography blasting. It was a nice experience to be a part of. We drove home listening to Circles repeatedly.