Walking Through The Woods of Mac Miller’s Mind

Mac Miller’s song “Woods” is featured on his posthumous album Circles. This album was released a little over a year after the death of Mac Miller and was said to complement its preceding album Swimming, so that the two together create the concept of “Swimming in Circles.”

This song gives a great insight to the mind of Mac Miller, who died of a tragic overdose. Miller struggled with depression and addiction which he expressed through many of songs including “Woods”, in which he raps about being emotionally lost and how his relationship with a woman seems to have guided him. In the beginning of the song Miller states,

Things like this ain’t built to last

I might just fade like those before me

In these two lines, Miller refers to his relationship with a woman as being so positive to the point that he feels it’s almost too good to be true or it “ain’t built to last.” This shines a light on how intense the darkness was in Mac Miller’s life that when he finally had a relationship that was important to him he worried it wouldn’t last. He goes on to say “I might just fade like those before me.” This line carries several meanings. By using the word “fade” he refers to falling out of the music industry as preceding artists have while simultaneously referring to his life, body, and mind deteriorating due to drug abuse, also similar to many other artists. Miller continues on to say,

Too many days in a daze, better wake up

Put your face in the place where the space was

Again, Miller eludes to his two states of emotional struggle along with drug abuse. With the words, “too many days in a daze, better wake up”, Miller might be referring to several aspect of his life. As a popular rapper, his life includes the darkness that is drug abuse which he could be referencing when he states that he is in a daze. Miller could also be talking about his emotional state, expressing that he is stuck in a “daze” caused mental illness, or he could simply be expressing his lack of sleep and rest due to his fast-moving life as an artist. The following line displays how the woman he was with at the time filled an empty “space” for Miller, foreshadowing that this woman was a savior for Mac Miller. Nearing the end of the song Miller states,

So far beyond all our control

You saved a soul so close to broken

This final line is so powerful to me and what really makes this song poetic. When Mac Miller says “you saved a soul so close to broken” he sends out several different messages to his listeners. First, he provides an insight to the struggles he endured during his life that may not have been perceived by the public eye. He also seems to be referring to the same woman by saying that she “saved” him when he was “so close to broken.” I think this notion is so powerful because many people can relate to it. In our world today, people can be experiencing so many things and others on the outside might never know it but also how even the simplest acts of kindness can change someone’s whole life which is why this line is so relatable. Not only does it allow the listeners to experience Mac Miller’s personal experiences but it also connects to the listener’s lives as well. This is a quality that many of Miller’s songs hold which is only one of the many reasons why Mac Miller’s music is so significant in the music world today.

4 thoughts on “Walking Through The Woods of Mac Miller’s Mind


    Looking back, I remember the reaction to his death and how tragic it was. This song offers more insight of his overdose and what led up to it. It reads like a warning sign for him now that we know happens to him. It’s sad he could never be completely saved.


  2. Audrey S

    I really like your analysis of this song. I do think the song can be interpreted as almost a cry for help, but also as a love song, to convey how much the woman means to him through all of his struggles. I also agree that his listeners can deeper their experience through this song because many relate to his struggles.


  3. Juliana Maria Buchser

    This song is heartbreakingly beautiful. I think the title implies he’s not “out of the woods”— but, that he’s, in fact deep IN the wood. “Out of the woods” is an older saying that means the worst part of someone’s troubles are over. That’s how I’ve always interpreted the title, but, I could be very wrong. Either way, the heartbreak and emotion are what is *felt* in Woods. Felt…it’s one of those songs you feel in your bones-in a melancholy sort of way. I miss this artist, SO SO MUCH! What a tragedy—he was a true artist—so musically talented and such a lovely vibrant soul.


  4. It just occurred to me that he could’ve also meant that he can’t see the forest for the trees—or, that when you’re in the throes of something it’s hard to get beyond the details (trees) and see the bigger picture (forest)


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