When Mac Miller died in September 2018, he had just released what would be the final album of his lifetime, Swimming, featuring collaborations with producers Jon Brion, Blood Orange, Dâm-Funk, and others. But he had plans to pair it with a companion album called Circles — the end result would be something that could be joined together, a concept he envisioned as Swimming in Circles.
Brion has been working to complete Circles since Miller’s death. According to a note posted to Miller’s social accounts as well as on the Instagram page of his mother, Karen Meyers, on Wednesday (January 8), we’ll soon be able to hear Circles, thanks to Brion’s work. It’s scheduled for a January 17 release.
“Two different styles complementing each other, completing a circle — Swimming in Circles was the concept,” the note reads. It also mentions Brion’s deep involvement, specifically how the producer, “after hearing some early versions of songs, cleared his calendar to help Malcolm fine-tune them. After his passing, Jon dedicated himself to finishing Circles based on his time and conversations with Malcolm.”
The note also acknowledges the often murky terrain of releasing an artist’s work after they’ve died. “This is a complicated process that has no right answer. No clear path,” it reads. “We simply know that it was important to Malcolm for the world to hear it.”
Miller’s family also spoke of wanting to “communicate meaningfully while keeping sacred what should be kept sacred.” As such, more information on Circles, as well as intel on his charity and Miller himself, will be found at the handle @92tilinfinity instead of on the late rapper’s official social media channels.
“We are left to imagine where Malcolm was going and to appreciate where he was,” the note concludes. “We hope you take the time to listen. The look on his face when everyone was listening said it all.”
Circles will be Miller’s first full release after his death, though a posthumous verse appeared on the 88-Keys and Sia collab “This Life” back in June 2019 and another one popped up on “Time,” a Free Nationals/Kali Uchis team-up, that same month.
Read the full note above, and follow @92tilinfinity for more updates.