Mac Miller: Circles review – a last look inward for a complex talent

Two years after his death at the age of 26, the US rapper’s final album is occasionally playful, but dominated by introspection

Mac Miller’s narrative arc was genuinely surprising. A capable but derivative white rapper from Pittsburgh with neck tattoos, his early works about partying did not seem likely to trouble the zeitgeist in any lasting way.

The zeitgeist knew otherwise, however, and from 2011 to his untimely death by accidental overdose in September 2018, Miller built ambitiously on those bro-hop beginnings. Musically and thematically, he grew up in public. The Divine Feminine (2016) – the album that reflected Miller’s burgeoning relationship with Ariana Grande – revealed both softness and unexpected musicality.

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