Circles

Album: Circles (2020)
Charted: 48

Songfacts®:

  • The first track and title tune from Mac Miller's posthumous album of the same name finds the rapper speaking on being directionless. He is unable to break out of his bad habits and make progress in his life.

    I cannot be changed, I cannot be changed, no
    Trust me, I've tried
    I just end up right at the start of the line
    Drawin' circles


    Miller feels as though he's just going round in cycles and there's nothing he can do about it.
  • Intended as a companion piece to Miller's previous album, Swimming, Circles was completed by producer Jon Brion following Miller's death in September 2018. Brion told Apple Music this song is mainly Miller's demo. All he did was add "a brush on a cymbal, and a vibraphone."
  • Both the song and the album name reference the last verse off Swimming's closing track, "So It Goes."

    My god, it go on and on
    Just like a circle, I go back to where I'm from


    Brion told The New York Times that Miller intended Circles to be the next step in a trilogy after Swimming.

    "He [Mac] had this whole aquatic theme that came out of something we'd talked about when he was working on 'Swimming'," Brion said "I'd noticed he mentioned water a few times in the lyrics, and then that grew into all these discussions about water and what it sounds like that became kind of a running joke."

    "There were supposed to be three albums: the first, Swimming, was sort of the hybridization of going between hip-hop and song form," he added.

    "The second, which he'd already decided would be called Circles, would be song-based. And I believe the third one would have been just a pure hip-hop record. I think he wanted to tell people, 'I still love this, I still do this.'"

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