It was a sad day when the young American rapper, Mac Miller, passed away in September 2018 at just 26 years old. He was a very talented yet dainty soul who didn’t seem to fit the blueprint of the commercial juggernaut that is the recording industry.
During his short time on Planet Earth…
He made his mark and left us some unbelievable music to remember him by. The best Mac Miller songs of all time are a unique mix of soulful Hip-Hop flavors that buck the conventional trends of the 2010s.
Mac was a self-made artist who started on the independent scene with his first mixtape at just 15 years old and finished with his final album, Circles, which was posthumously released in 2020.
So, let’s take a look at Mac Miller’s best songs that will ensure he lives forever enshrined in Hip-Hop history.
- Top 20 Best Mac Miller Songs of All Time
- Want More Incredible Hip-Hop Songs?
- Best Mac Miller Songs of All Time – Final Thoughts
Top 20 Best Mac Miller Songs of All Time
“Self-Care” was initially released in 2018 from his Swimming album, which came out a month before his untimely passing. The track has a Trap feel with an R&B vibe that is smooth and relaxing.
Unlike most modern rappers of the time, Mac’s delivery is reminiscent of rappers from the 2000s. It’s a good example of why he was liked by new and old rap fans alike. This is one of the most popular Mac Miller songs. To date, it has over 400 million views on YouTube.
Thoughtful and introspective lyrics are what make him so endearing…
Mac touches on learning how to love and accept himself more, and we all could do with a bit of that. Addiction is also something he addresses on this track. And anyone who knows about the life and times of this artist knows he was constantly struggling with this.
Fans love this song because it’s so honest that it even helped others come to terms with their own inner turmoil.
Some fans might not put this so high on the best Mac Miller songs of all time. But the truth is that this track touched me when it came out in 2018. “2009” touches parts of your soul that not many artists can reach.
The composition is beautiful in every way and is almost angelic in its conception. The sad vibes are only accentuated by the super-sad lyrics, where it sounds like Mac has given up hope. But, somehow, he manages to turn this intrinsically sad tune into something positive sounding.
So, what’s this track about?
The lyrics touch on the subject of how he wishes it was 2009 when things were much simpler. For me, this was a breath of fresh air when it came out and sounded different from other rap tracks of the late-2010s.
You can almost feel the anxiety, depression, and addiction in the tone of his voice. It’s powerful stuff that will make you feel something. That’s a pretty impressive feat in a music industry that is all about greed and fame.
“The Spins” is one of Mac Miller’s most famous songs from his K.I.D.S. album in 2010. This is a much more positive song compared to some of his older stuff. It sounded like he was having a great time making this album.
The up-tempo vibe uses driving drums and positive rhymes and vocals across the board. It’s more of a party track. There is a happy feeling that only a young person new to this type of world can understand, which is all of us at some point in time.
This track makes Mac very relatable…
It’s essentially a drunk teenager song about having a good time. In some respects, it might have been better if Mac could’ve kept this attitude forever instead of spiraling into depression. It harks back to a less complicated time for the young artist before the record industry got its claws into him.
The use of samples from Empire of the Sun’s “Half Mast” song gives it an incredible vibe. If you want to remember Mac in a positive light, this is the track to listen to.
“Donald Trump” was one of the breakout songs that introduced him to a wider mainstream audience. It was released from his Blue Slide Park album in 2011, and within a couple of months, it hit the 100 Billboard charts making it his most successful track at the time.
It’s a melodious track that uses a sample from “Vesuvius” by Sufjan Stevens to great effect. The vibe is up-tempo and uplifting in a way that makes you feel good.
Want to know something funny?
Former US president Donald Trump (but not president at the time) tried to sue Mac for royalties for using his name as the title. It just shows you how petty these billionaire business moguls are.
Mac used Trump’s name because he wanted a name that would epitomize the financial success that the artist was striving for at the time. He could’ve used the name of any tech or business billionaire, but he used Trump’s, and I think that was really amusing.
Best Day Ever
When you look back at Mac’s 2010 K.I.D.S. album, you can hear that he’s having a great time, as any teenager should.
Listening to “Best Day Ever” in 2023 makes you sad because he was just a kid living the dream, and it’s heart-wrenching to know where it all goes. If you watch the music video where he is chilling with his homies, you can understand why he was so relatable to kids at the time.
The song is about his happiness and being able to make music…
This is a good vibes track all around. The Earth Wind & Fire sample gives it a very uplifting sound that Mac embraced on this track. The rhymes are about wanting to achieve and being happy to be in the fortunate position to make all your dreams come true.
Weekend (feat. Miguel)
Everyone looks forward to going out at the weekend and getting smashed. Especially when you are a teenager. But, not many talk about how depressing it can be waiting for the weekend to come during the week.
“Weekend” talks about how sad he currently is…
But everything should be okay by the weekend when you are getting ready to go out. When you break down the lyrics, you can see that Mac is talking about getting high or drunk to hide away from life.
The track is from his 2015 GO:OD AM album and featured male vocalist Miguel on the chorus hook. It’s upbeat but dark at the same time, and that pretty much sums up this subject matter.
Mac’s chilled yet very clear rap vocals are a godsend when compared to the mumble rappers that were taking the rap scene hostage at the tune. The track is so good that it still holds up well today, especially the message of the lyrics. Possibly, the greatest Mac Miller song ever recorded.
“Blue World” is a very musical and unique track and has a different type of vibe you don’t hear very often. It’s like most of the music from his posthumous 2020 Circles album. It has a certain vibe that is warm but sad at the same time.
The cool sample from The Four Freshman’s “It’s a Blue World” track really does set the vibe. Mac talks about how he is enjoying parts of his life, but it all exists in his depressing and blue world.
When you consider what he was going through at the time, you can hear that he’s depressed but doesn’t know why. It’s kind of heartbreaking to listen to. Especially when you know that he was already dead by the time this track came out.
Nikes on My Feet
This is a Mac Miller feel-good track from his 2010 K.I.D.S. album. It even sampled the legendary Nas track “The World is Yours.” Although there is nothing complicated about the beat, it harks back to the classic days of Hip-Hop from the 1990s, so that’s got to be a good thing.
“Nikes on My Feet” is a track that helped launch his rise to the pinnacle of the rap game and is still a much-loved Mac Miller song by his fans over a decade later.
The nostalgic sound drew many older Hip-Hop heads to Mac’s music at the time, and that helped his commercial success going forward. Everyone remembers how good it was putting on a brand new fresh pair of Nike’s back in the day, and that’s what listening to this track in 2020 feels like.
“Good News” epitomizes how he was feeling during the time of making the Circles album. He had grown as an artist but sounded more depressed and reflective than ever before.
It talks about his depression and addiction issues. So, it only makes sense that it’s a bit dark, but it’s still beautiful, like most of his music. The dreamy catchy chorus hook gets me every time and takes it to another level.
If you listen to the lyrics, he is talking about using some good news he recently got to try and drag himself out of the mental mire he was in. There’s some real optimism in here; it’s just a shame that he couldn’t keep on that same path to reflection and recovery.
Rain (feat. Vince Staples)
This unique hood classic is underrated, in my opinion. “Rain” features rapper Vince Staples and sampled “Govinda” by the J.O.B. Orchestra, which is one of the most sampled tracks of all time.
Even though this sample is heavily used in other tracks, they managed to make it sound new and different like never before. And that’s quite some feat.
The track was initially released from his 2014 Faces album, which is in itself quite a reflective project that saw Mac moving towards a more melancholic sound. This is a song that I like to chill out to. So, light up a blunt, get comfortable, and enjoy these relaxing vibes.
“Knock Knock” has one of the coolest instrumentals using a sample of the 1961 track “I’ve Told Every Little Star” by Linda Scott. It’s so creative and innovative, and infectious that you can’t help but have it on heavy rotation.
It was first released from his K.I.D.S. album at the beginning of the 2010s. It’s another track from that time that was a launch pad for his career going forward.
It skillfully blends an old sample with a newer vibe, and it takes me back to a time when sampling was the heartbeat of rap music. The truth is that this track still sounds great over a decade later, and I still listen to it regularly today.
This is one of Mac Miller’s biggest songs from his commercially successful Swimming album. “Ladders” is very similar to songs off that album because it’s so musical and melodic.
His progression was evident when listening to the tight production and even tighter vocal delivery. It starts all smooth and then gets all up-tempo and electronic, making it one of his more interesting pieces of music.
The catchy hook and the cool lyrics are inspirational and talk about what it’s like trying to get to the top. But, it also warns that the higher you go up the ladder, the longer and harder the fall. Unfortunately for Mac, this couldn’t be any truer and was a glimpse into his tragic future.
Here We Go
The soulful sample from the movie Kingdom of Heaven sets this track off on the right foot. I love samples like this because it shows that the essence of Hip-Hop is right through the core of this track.
“Here We Go” might not have been one of his most successful commercial ventures, but it’s a fan favorite. The intrinsically positive message talks about being brave and courageous and always speaking the truth from your heart.
The euphoric horn sample and the slow yet driving beat are the highlights of this song. It’s just a shame that this rapper couldn’t capture this positive and reflective vibe and take that forward. But at least we got to hear it here.
“Small Worlds” is a reflective track about his breakup with his ex-girlfriend and Popstar Ariana Grande. It talks about his flaws and the mistakes he made in the relationship.
It’s soft, soulful, and full of regret and sadness, musically and melodically. Mac’s singing on the chorus hook might not hit the notes on the musical scale, but it hit the notes in your soul, and you can’t teach that.
This is one of the best Mac Miller songs of all time, in my opinion, and the subject matter is something that everyone can relate to. It came out in 2018 and is one of his most honest tracks to date that pulls on the heartstrings of his fans.
What’s the Use
Mac Miller doesn’t do many collaborations, but he did have Snoop Dogg and Thundercat on his 2018 Swimming album. That was the project that launched the much-loved track “What’s the Use?” The up-tempo vibe of this track is contagious and will have you bobbing along like a duck in a Tsunami.
The 1970s-inspired Funk-laden rap beat makes the song. The lyrics talk about all the heat he had to endure from trolls and haters amidst his breakup with Ariana Grande. He turns a negative into a positive on this track in true Mac fashion.
My Favorite Part (feat. Ariana Grande)
Talking about Ariana Grande over the past couple of tracks, has reminded me to include this collaboration that Mac had with his then-girlfriend of the time. The beat has a unique Neo-Soul vibe that really rocks. “My Favorite Part,” featuring Ariana Grande, is about their love and relationship and the connection they had.
Mac sings more in this track than he raps. But none of that matters because it sounds great. It was released in 2016 from The Divine Feminine album, and the lush production ensures it will live long into the future.
“Diablo” uses a cool-ass sample from Duke Ellington & John Coltrane’s track “In a Sentimental Mood” and is very moody and melancholic.
It’s an emotional and jazzy track that takes you on a dreamy journey, especially if you are blunted. It was released from Mac’s Faces album in 2014, and in terms of production and vocal delivery, he’s never sounded better, in my opinion.
The lyrics again touch on his depression and addiction issues but also talks about the loss of a friend. It’s a very understated and minimalist track that will no doubt stand the test of time.
“Therapy” uses a majestic soul sample from the “Oneness” track by the Coma-Chi’s. It’s the same sample that DJ Premier used for the Korean rap group Dynamic Duo’s “AEAO” track, which is also an absolute banger.
The cool and dreamy vibes of the Mac Miller track give it a new lease of life. It’s also from the Faces album and talks about how he is living the fast life of partying and having a good time.
Polo Jeans (feat. Earl Sweatshirt)
Mac Miller collaborations are thin on the ground. However, when he does work with another artist, it’s usually something to remember. “Polo Jeans” featuring Earl Sweatshirt was initially released in 2014 and once again talks about his depression and drug addiction issues.
The two rappers also talk about how trolls and critics pick holes in their music and how it makes them feel low. It’s a sad and reflective collaboration, but one you don’t want to overlook if you missed it the first time.
Dang (feat. Anderson .Paak)
“Dang” featuring Anderson .Paak has a happy, soulful vibe and is a summer banger if you ask me. I wanted to finish off with a feel-good track because so much of Mac’s music is sad, but not this one.
It’s a less serious song…
And, something that I like to remember Mac by instead of the depressing stuff that talked about his lack of confidence and insecurities.
Anderson .Paak singing vocals on the chorus just takes it to the realms of summertime happiness, and not many things in life are as good as those types of vibe. The up-tempo beat is one of his best, in my opinion. It’s just a shame that Mac couldn’t keep himself in that same headspace, or he would probably still be here today.
Want More Incredible Hip-Hop Songs?
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Also, you’ll need to listen to them. So, check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Headphones for Hip-Hop, the Best Headphones for Music, the Best Bass Earbuds, the Best Sound Quality Earbuds, and the Best iPhone Earbuds you can buy in 2023.
Best Mac Miller Songs of All Time – Final Thoughts
One positive thing that we can hold onto after Mac Miller’s passing is that his music will live on forever. And, in all honesty, he was one of the most soulful and unique rappers ever.
My list of the best Mac Miller songs ever is filled to the brim with absolute classics that no one will forget in a hurry. He left his mark on the world, and how many people can honestly say that? Not many!
Because he was so young when he died, you can’t help thinking that he left some tracks on the table that we will never get to experience. To his fans, he was a sweet and sensitive soul and a musical genius, and not many will argue with that. RIP, Mac Miller, you are missed.
Until next time, let the music play.