Mac Miller is as understood as he isn’t, but that’s mostly the point.
Following the release of his fifth studio album Swimming, Miller spoke with Vulture’s Craig Jenkins about all of the ways fans and media can come to know the rapper, and still not know him. The sum of their conversation leading to the truth that Mac Miller isn’t all happy, but he’s not all sad, either.
“I really wouldn’t want just happiness,” Miller said. “And I don’t want just sadness either. I don’t want to be depressed. I want to be able to have good days and bad days … I can’t imagine not waking up sometimes and being like, ‘I don’t feel like doing shit.’ And then having days where you wake up and you feel on top of the world.”
There is an admitted intensity to depression, as it amplifies otherwise passing emotions. Miller doesn’t want to be depressed, but he isn’t rejecting the peaks and valleys of life, either. Beyond the innate futility that comes with trying to control our base emotions, there is also the truth that as a creative, he must draw from a breadth of experiences to make the most resonant music.
Of course, there is no written rule that depressed artists make more compelling art, but rather that people in touch with the full spectrum of emotion make the most enduring work. Where Swimming was Miller’s most balanced record to date, hearing him embrace and pursue emotional balance should not be a surprise. It’s a welcome note to both fans and fellow creatives: life ebbs and flows and it’s far easier to live in the embrace of that than it is to fight the currents.
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