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Mac Miller’s Haunting Album “Swimming” Brings Vulnerability

Official album cover of Mac Miller’s “Swimming” (Credit: Warner Bros. Records)

“Swimming” is a hip-hop and rap album made by Pittsburgh-born artist Mac Miller in 2018 and is his eighth studio album out of ten, although it was the last released while he was still alive.

The album consists of 13 songs that have a combination jazz and danceable vibe. This album was nominated for “Best Rap Album” at the 2019 Grammy Awards but lost to Cardi B’s “Invasion of Privacy.”

“Swimming” was released just three weeks before Miller’s unfortunate passing in Sept. 2018. Before this, the album debuted at number three on the US Billboard 200, then re-entered at number six a week after his passing.

The release of this album followed his recent break-up with pop star Ariana Grande and his 2018 DUI arrest, which lead to the album being described as a way for Miller to move on from his past heartbreaks and struggles, and as a way for him to find a new version of himself. Miller released an album titled “Divine Feminine,” just two years before “Swimming,” and it was a 10-song album of love ballads where he poured his heart out for Grande. When Grande dumped Miller for a rumored other man, he was heartbroken.

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In a tweet from May 2018, Grande described Miller as having an “…inability to keep his **** together…” while at the same time describing him as “…one of [her] best friends in the entire world…” in an Instagram post soon after their split. However, Miller was aware of his issues with mental health and used “Swimming” as a way to demonstrate self-love, mental growth, and personal healing, as demonstrated in the song “Self Care.”

There are no features on this album, which I personally recognize as Miller’s way of showing us that he’s making efforts towards bettering his health and doing it all on his own.

My top three songs from this album are “Come Back to Earth,” “2009,” and “What’s the Use?”. “Come Back to Earth” is the opening song of the album and contains what could be the most relatable lyrics of any song on the album, including “My regrets look just like texts I shouldn’t send…” “2009” has more instrumental melodies present and has more elements of self-forgiveness and healing in the lyrics. “What’s the Use?” has a very upbeat tone and the lyrics tell the listener to focus on themselves and do what’s best for them.

I would rate this album a 10/10, but if I could, I would rate it around an 100/10. I think this album is a good advocate of mental health and can help those who have similar struggles to Miller. This album could potentially be very relatable for many of his fans, and I think most of them can find comfort in that. It’s an example of the truth behind Hollywood, pop stars, relationships, and the overall lack of mental health representation in media.

 In the end, this album will continue to rank highly on my list of all-time favorite albums and will be one I recommend to others for years to come.


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About the Contributor
Laurel Davis, News Editor
Laurel Davis is a junior at Roswell and holds the role of News Editor for her third year on staff. When she’s not writing, she enjoys traveling, playing golf, hanging out with friends, and going to church.

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  • C

    Crista mckinnonFeb 17, 2024 at 4:21 pm

    I absolutely love mac miller. ❤️ the things he has done with music in his short years he had are and forever should be cherished.

  • D

    Dennis NoeskeFeb 17, 2024 at 10:01 am

    Wow that was deep….I’m one of mac miller s biggest fans …and there is not a day that goes were I don’t listen to those songs you mentioned…..I struggle with mental health issues…so I can relate to those songs alot…
    But when I listen to him it seems the world doesn’t matter ….when I’m down he brings me up and with that being said the swimming pool album is his …best Rip mac miller you will be missed..