What Was The Last Album Mac Miller Recorded Before He Died?

Sheepish indie rapper Mac Miller, born Malcolm James McCormick, devastated fans when he died from an overdose at age 26. Born and bred in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Miller broke out into the hip-hop scene at age 15 by selling mixtapes online, became a millionaire before he could legally drink, founded a record label, and released six studio albums all before his tragic death in 2018 (via The New York Times).

Listeners just stumbling upon Miller's music may think his album "Faces," was the most recent project he released since it appears at the top of most streaming services like Spotify. But that was actually a 2021 re-release of a 2014 mixtape that — in reference to one of his first nicknames, "Easy Mac with the Cheese" — could originally only be downloaded by making Mac a virtual sandwich, according to XXL Mag.

In a short interview on YouTube, Miller says the coming-of-age project was similar to "Harold and the Purple Crayon." He wielded the paintbrush, and it was through this project he began to paint the world around him. Spookily, some of the lyrics Miller sings on "Faces" forebodingly predict his 2018 death. "I shoulda died already, came in, I was high already," he says, "a drug habit like Philip Hoffman will probably put me in a coffin" (via GQ).

Swimming in Circles

After his death in 2018, Miller's family told fans via his Instagram about an album he had been planning to release as a companion to his 2018 album, "Swimming." The idea was to have "Swimming" — what Rolling Stone called a "sonic head-trip drenched in synths, sultry grooves," — complemented by the sorrowful blues of the last album Miller recorded before he died, "Circles." Hence, the companion albums would be known together as "Swimming in Circles." His family decided to release the project, and producer Jon Brion dedicated himself to finishing it after Miller's death.

The posthumous album would go on to win over countless new listeners and comfort old fans after his death. So-called "Macheads" told Slate that Miller's lyrics had saved their lives and that he "communicated feelings I didn't fully understand but I comprehended emotionally where he was coming from." 

Similar to past projects, "Circles" contains some of the same themes of trying to find balance and feeling trapped by the spotlight, according to The Atlantic. But with "Circles," Miller seemed to accept his struggles, laying them out honestly for himself and the audience. "F*** the bull****," he sings, "I'm here to make it all better with a little music for you."