Understanding Swimming by Mac Miller


by Mac Miller


From his comedic personality to his rhyme scheme, Mac Miller was one of the most influential artists in the past decade. He resonated with the youth and expressed himself for who he was. Before his death, Mac Miller had already dropped an album titled Swimming. 

Before the album was released, Mac Miller was already experiencing a deep and difficult time with his past relationship with another talented artist, Ariana Grande. As the experience of the breakup, the album dives into healing, self-love, and psychological growth. While listening to the album for some time, I felt that though Mac did lose a loved one, there is there a sense of optimism that he is trying to convey as well. On the track Self Care, Mac talks about his healing process and how he would have to progress from this loss. Then on the track Wings, we see the realization that Mac has to put the past behind him and looking towards the future. In my opinion, I felt that there weren’t any hidden messages or anything Mac wanted to hide; just a hard breakup that someone had to move past and looking towards the future for. 

When I heard of Mac’s death, that was when I heard Swimming entirely differently. Mac Miller didn’t hide anything, it was there the whole time but, when you saw the impact, you see the full picture of Swimming. Though the album does contain the same themes I’ve touched briefly on, it’s like Mac wanted those things. On Tracks like Ladders, we see an everlasting chain of not wanting the change but, knows it’s for the best. It seems that he was rapping about change but, wasn’t actually changing in the process. We could assume that he didn’t see change as an option but, as an obligation. As a result, Mac Miller’s death helped us realize that he wasn’t okay. I felt that his death and this album, helped me become more vulnerable as a person, and though he didn’t discover self-acceptance in himself, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t continue moving forward.