American rapper Mac Miller’s 6th and final studio album “Circles” was released on Jan. 17, a year and a half after his death.
The album has 12 tracks which include the single “Good News” that was released earlier on Jan. 9.
A day after it’s release, “Good News” reached the No. 1 spot for Billboard’s New Music Friday list and received 86 percent of the votes. The single was accompanied by a music video directed by Anthony Gaddis and Eric Tilford. It begins with footage of Miller telling viewers to follow him and concludes with heartwarming studio footage of Mac Miller jamming out to some beats.
MTV describes the “Good News” music video as viewers being “transported into an abstract world that uses motion collage to take us through animated landscapes, with familiar Mac imagery peppered throughout.” The video is full of color and takes viewers on a trip with pictures of the artist from the past and present.
“Circles” was meant to be a sister album to his 2018 album “Swimming” that Miller worked on with producer Jon Brion. CNN Entertainment reports, Miller had been working on Circles with Brion as well at the time of his death.
In an interview with The New York Times, Brion talked about how “Swimming” and “Circles” were meant to be part of a trilogy.
“Swimming was sort of the hybridization of going between hip-hop and song form… ‘Circles,’ would be song-based. And I believe the third one would have been just a pure hip-hop record,” Brion said.
Mac Miller died at the age of 26 in September 2018 from an accidental drug overdose. Miller had been fighting addiction and depression which was apparent through all his music. Jon Brion points out that in the song “Once a Day” he could see that Miller had been trying to “sort through his demons” while not trying to hide it at all. The tracks in “Circles” all have similar tones contributing to the theme of battling depression that is present throughout the album.
Miller’s family posted on his Instagram page on Jan. 8 to inform fans of the struggle they went through in deciding whether or not to release the album that Brion dedicated himself to finishing. They explain that the music was sacred and that they wanted to keep it that way, but they knew that Mac wanted the world to hear it.
In addition to the album release, three fan pop-up exhibitions were held in celebration for Mac Miller. The exhibitions were held in Los Angeles, New York and Pittsburgh where Miller grew up. They featured “intimate, front-to-back listenings of “Circles,” as well as a multimedia art exhibition.”
Billboard alludes that Mac Miller passed before completing “his vision: ‘swimming in circles’, a cycle that oscillates between struggle and triumph, failure and success.” Either way, “Circles” leaves fans with the lasting impressions of the circles and cycles we go through in life.