In retrospect, Swimming is a final reflective piece of the life and times of Mac Miller. Reflecting, it seems as if Mac was aware that his death was inevitable. The themes surrounding the project coexist coincidentally with how he lived his life knowing it would be cut short. On the first half of the album, it strategically leads up to his downward spiral. By Self Care he reflects on his mortality and even foreshadows his death, thus leading him into a state of oblivion.
The latter half of ‘Swimming’ further explores the journey of oblivion, the new state of mind in which Mac is healed (Wings), and despite how hard you climb for recovery, you still fall (‘Ladders’). As the album comes to a close, Mac continues to reflect on his life, accepting his choices and regretting them on ‘2009’, ending the song with the lyrics, ‘it ain’t 2009 no more, I know what’s behind that door’, an unfortunate awareness of the dangers of overdose, which was his fate.
The album closes with the haunting So It Goes, admitting there’s no grand finale to life, and the way we live our life, is just in circles. Despite Mac Miller being in the best mental state, it was Mac’s awareness to the fact that his downfall was a tragic cycle that seemed never ending. Battling with mental health on a day-to-day basis is just like a spinning record, it keeps going and going, living each day with the same expectations as the other, anticlimactic and uneventful.
So It Goes, references Mac’s death, with the final lyrics of the album “just like a circle, I go back to where I came from”, it’s a postmodern peak into his life leading up to his overdose. Swimming was a tragic, heartbreaking, yet extraordinary grand finale to the life and times of Mac Miller.