Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, and Kurt Cobain. Looking back on an artist’s work seems almost incomplete when their life was taken away at such a young age. Artists in their twenties have barely grasped the edge of their creative ability, and tears fall as music lovers reminisce on what could have been.
Mac Miller was a truly modern musician. He redefined the genre of rap music, and throughout each album, his sound evolved. At twenty-six years old, it is heartbreaking to reflect on Mac Miller’s legacy with a mournful sorrow. Nevertheless, it is important to honor him, by paying respect to his music.
Mac Miller crept onto the music scene as a young rapper from Pittsburgh. His first single “Knock Knock” peaked at eighty-eight on the Billboard Charts in 2012. As an up-and-coming musician, Miller produced music that reflected his age and many of his songs related to the vibrancy of young-adulthood.
While Miller is commonly noted for his early youthful music, his most recent albums are a true reflection of his musical maturity.
After the release of “Blue Slide Park” Miller produced “Watching Movies with The Sound Off” in 2013. Throughout this album, Miller attempts to answer life’s many questions, while reflecting on his childhood. The song “Matches” stands out as a not-so-nostalgic reminiscence on his upbringing. As a child, Miller was forced to grow up fast, and face mature challenges. This album displays Miller’s unfiltered emotions and memories. As a young artist, Miller’s willingness to fearlessly tackle complex issues such as mental illness, drugs, and love set him apart from other rappers on the music scene.
In 2016, Miller released his album “The Divine Feminine.” This album is truly the music of a man in love. Each song exuberates a new level of emotion, as Miller expresses his sensitive side. The album explores relationships, love, and sex in a unique way. Miller’s rap is combined with a jazzy sound, often times creating a sensual feel. Piano is incorporated into the opening song “Congratulations,” which perfectly conveys a romantic tone, and sets the mood for the rest of the album.
While “The Divine Feminine” focuses on love and relationships, Miller’s most recent album, “Swimming,” is a self reflection. In this album, Miller delved into the trials and tribulations of finding oneself. As opposed to the sensual sounds of “The Divine Feminine,” “Swimming” alts for a somber mood. Each song conveys the inner turmoil within Miller. Released only a month before his death, this album will serve to remind us of Miller’s musical talent, and his unique sound.
Musicians must be willing to share their raw feelings with the world, and when they are, the world develops a connection with the musician. Mac Miller expressed himself beautifully, and his music impacted many. Therefore, the world mourns. Losing an artist will always be painful, but for a true artist, death is never the end, because music lives on forever.
Written by Samantha Greyson