The weekend. The goal weekday warriors steadily approach each and everyday in the perilous journey that is the work grind. What is it about the weekend that intrigues the mind as we continue with our daily responsibilities. Moments of relaxation and good times with friends and family distract us from the work at hand. Are we hoping for relaxation or just a change of pace?
Mac Miller and Miguel join forces in their single, Weekend which was included on Mac’s 2015 album GO:OD AM as track number 7. The music video begins with an ensemble of mysterious tones and quick cuts to inform audience members of what’s to come.
After a short introduction the melodic undertone of the song fills the eardrums as cascading trumpets hover about, laying the framework for Miller’s verse. Cars fly by as the audience is provided with a birds eye view of a darkened interstate, perhaps symbolizing the monotony of daily life with time often sailing forth dramatically as workers fixate on the weekend. The cars passing by as time does, only catching a glimpse of them as they pass by, similar to how each hour of each day passes us by until it accumulates into days, weeks, and years.
The audience is then transported to an alleyway where Mac slowly approaches the camera while strolling in front of a vehicle, the only thing pushing him forward is the beat. Mac transitions from the instrumental introduction and begins a grim tale of an individual struggling with emotional baggage that utilizes drugs and alcohol to numb the pain.
“I got a system filled up with toxins
I been broken hearted and I was fuck that bitch
Getting high to deal with my problems
Fucking bitches and getting drunk as shit.“
Anecdotes of suffering from emotional distress are common throughout the piece with the self diagnosed drugs, alcohol, and women being the only cure. Losing oneself to short spurts of happiness through the vessel of drugs and alcohol further develop the spiraling nature of this mentality. After an undefined amount of time these feelings can fade at increasing speeds.
“Fucking bitches and getting drunk as shit
But these bitches getting obnoxious“
Mac is describing the feeling of going through the motions weekend in, weekend out. Living each night as though it is your last just to feel something emotionally, attempting to escape from ones woes.
“Go long days, longer nights
Talk too much, the wrong advice
all the lights, and call my life
Doctor, Doctor, will you help me
Keep me healthy, keep it lowest you can help me“
Making an attempt to balance this unorthodox lifestyle alters ones perception of time; making an attempt to grind out the work day and to merely consume in order to forget once Friday arrives. Following the advice of others the song delves into the idea of pursuing help with such problems, talking to friends that wield no answer (talk too much, the wrong advice), introspection into ones own problems in hopes of gaining some answer to no avail (all the lights, and call my life), and finally, seeking out professional help that may appear to be an instant fix according to popular media portrayals (Doctor, Doctor, will you help me, keep me healthy, keep it lowest you can help me).
Miller continues to communicate various ideas of what may be ailing him about his life which is forcing him to look for an escape. These topics include his rap image, (First rap shipment, selling out) finding love while in the public limelight. (ooh shit, my new bitch, you jealous now)
The compounding pressures from outside forces continue to weigh down on him as he attempts to minimize their effect on him by “chilling” and attempting to live by his own rules. Attempting to understand ones purpose and life within the public eye adds another level of confusion as the public’s opinion forces its way into your own life. To combat the relentless onslaught of negative messages from every direction, Mac is instead focusing all his energy on living his life on his own terms, void of everyone’s thoughts and opinions. These select stanzas support the underlying idea of uncertainty in ones life. Feeling as though your everyday actions have become monotonous while never really accomplishing anything. Instead, we fall back on our tendencies which in this case is escaping the world through consumption, perhaps considering how stale ones life is and how it can be altered from a stoic affair.
All the pain that they causin’ like fuck it we ballin’ now everythin’ straight.
You feeling the feeling, I’m chilling, just living, I’m living away.
Conversations we have, I’m getting too static, too much on my plate.
Lord I need me a break.
The chorus returns and signifies another weekend has arrived, developing into a short-term fix for a long-term problem. As with everything in life, the weekend comes to an end with time.
Similar to the headaches that Monday’s normally bring, Mac Miller delves into his negative thoughts after the weekend effect wears off, bringing his mind back down into the emotional pits. In the music video the audiences is transported to a dark, mysterious hallway where Mac Miller stands in the distance. This particular portion of the music video is portraying the home of the person that Mac is personifying within the song. Everywhere he looks there are problems. Dark figures stand idly along the hallway, staring blankly at the camera. These figures represent the depression being described throughout the song, merely existing in the background of the music video until they are overbearing, grabbing at him in hopes of retaining his dark thoughts.
The walls are covered in foliage and there are cracks along the hallway. Applying these thoughts to his everyday life, the audience can presume that these negative ideas are applied to everything within Mac’s life, identifying every single detail throughout his day in negative light, finding the negative connotations in every aspect of the day.
I been having trouble sleeping
Battling these demons
Onto the musical aspect, Mac delves into the ideas of what is causing him grief within his life, defining the issues that plagued him. Finding himself sleep deprived because of his demons that cause him to lie awake at night and cause his sadness to transport into the following day since his mind received minimal rest. The mental affects of sleep deprivation begin to wear down on him as he considers his true meaning in life. What motivates him to wake up each and everyday when it isn’t a weekend? Staring into the calendar next to the bed and realizing that unfortunately, today was not the weekend; struggling to find purpose in the struggle of everyday life. Do the weekdays merely exist to remind us of how good the weekend is?
Wondering what’s the thing that keeps me breathing
is it money fame or neither
I been thinking about the places that I frequent
all the people that I see
The pondering of existentialism and meaning in life continues to be a relevant theme in Weekend as Mac Miller continues his longest verse of the song. Echoing earlier sentiment he describes a struggle of finding purpose in ones life in an attempt to understand what drives him forward in life. Why does he keep breathing when it hurts so badly?
He then moves on to ideas that outside persons may consider his reasons for living, money or fame. Trying to look beyond that he moves on quickly to experiences in his life that he may derive purpose from, thinking about the places that I (Mac) frequent, all the people that I see. The song is somewhat of an inner monologue of Mac Miller’s persona for the song, debating the influential portions of ones life and of course the consideration that, maybe none of these things bring purpose to his life.
I started livin’ decent But what do it mean to be a G
Only time we fall behind, bitches in the concubine, callin’ mine crazy
See in God’s desire make water wine, pause in time, it’s common they often hate me
Mac continues the verse with the early inception of change in his life, questioning what it means to specifically “be a G,” or attempting to define what livin’ decent even means. He then calls on the times that forced him to reconsider his changes to find a “decent” life with a woman easily toppling the enormous challenge of changing oneself. Comparing his changes to other miracles found throughout the world, Mac calls on God’s ability to make water wine to describe the miracle he would need to put forth in order to change into a better person.
The final verse of the song includes a deep dive into the psyche of the character portrayal done by Mac Miller in this song. Whether he is defining his own problems or a fictitious is up to your interpretation. To make the conclusion of the analysis I will be posing my answer in the light of Mac Miller describing himself through the lyrics.
Never will I walk in line, I cross the T’s and dot the I’s
Wondering well, wonderin’ how I got this high
Fell and asleep and forgot to die, god damn
I’m poppin’ them dollars and drinkin’ them powders, faded
Get it over the counter, I’m stuck on the browsers like how did I make it
These bitches don’t know me, this shit is so lonely until she get naked
Don’t even know what today is
Mac’s prior verses all lead up to the idea of self actualization and an understanding of ones purpose in life. Teetering on the edge of following societies expectations and his own, Mac informs the audience that he finds himself in the middle, ensuring that he crosses the T’s and dots the I’s when necessary but always preventing himself from walking in line with societies expectations.
The audience then finds themselves in a morbid transfusion of melodic tune and Mac’s voice as he exerts the feeling of wondering well, wonderin’ how I (Mac) got this high, fell asleep and forgot to die, god damn. Mac is hinting at his drive to replicate the increasingly high experience he feels, filling his life with bursts of happiness. The audience can assume from his other work that Mac Miller has experience with drugs, specifically being able to understand ones tolerance. What Mac is attempting to convey to the audience here is that Mac’s searching for that next peak, that next ultimate high that sneaks up on him when he least expects it. The momentous high then sends Mac’s mind into a spiral, moving from one negative to the next, contemplating the reason why he wakes up each and every morning, maybe even wishing that perhaps one morning, he wouldn’t. Perhaps each night Mac finds himself getting high to elevate his mind from the problems he faces, forgetting for a short time; the pain that he is in. Mac then falls asleep after a long night of pondering and heavy drug use, waking in the morning only to look in the mirror, wondering why he forgot to die.
The following stanzas describe a situation in which Mac loses himself in the midst of living his lavish lifestyle as a rapper. He’s in search of a deeper connection with the world around him and instead, Mac is losing himself in the process as he realizes he doesn’t even know what day it is.
But I’ll be good by the weekend
I’ll be good by the weekend
Everything good by the weekend
Everything will be good by the weekend
Moving onto the final chorus the audience is transported back into the four door as Miguel and Mac Miller drive down the freeway on their way to the party they’ve been discussing throughout the song; escaping what we presume was the work week.
Mondays I think of you
But I ain’t tripping on it
Tuesdays I’m in
Gotta get my hands up on ya
Wednesdays I’m lit with you
You know you’re staying over
Thursdays I’m sick of you
I got to get rid of you
‘Cause Fridays are always the start of the time of my life, alright
When I get faded you hate it but, baby, it’s gon’ be alright, ha, alright
Miguel will now conclude the song with his own verse. The conclusion of the almost four minute song delves into the mind of someone working their way through the week. During this stanza the audience could interpret Miguel’s lyrics to be describing a partner of some sorts or he may be describing thoughts through each stage of the work week, hinting at what could possibly be going through ones mind as the week progresses.
The final line of ‘Cause Fridays are always the start of the time of my life, alright, when I get faded you hate it but, baby, it’s gon’ be alright could be pointing to the fact that throughout the entire song the listeners are provided with the feeling that every weekend is spent with heavy substance usage which may be a direct causation to the perception that each weekend flies by without much consideration, directly propelling the work force back into their daily struggle.
My final point will be diving into the final images of the music video. Miguel and Mac arrive at the party with women dressed in black surrounding them as they approach the door. These masked woman may represent other party-goers but also the lurking sadness that sounds the thought of a party/the weekend, no matter how fun the weekend is there is always an end to the fun with Monday lurking around the corner. Without much consideration each of them brush past the mysterious figures and the beat returns, propelling Mac Miller as he spins on the playground merry go round with both Mac and Miguel only even giving though to the two women near the door, the only women in dark clothing that do not have masks on. He spins faster and faster, sending time forward as the weekend is consumed by drinking and drug use until it’s all in the past and he abruptly stops.
Miguel and Mac Miller teamed up to create the song Weekend, throughout the melodic rhythm the audience is entrusted with ideas of consideration for why the human race runs for the weekend, rushing through our everyday lives in hopes of some brief episode of excitement at the end of the week. The imagery and lyrical prowess of the piece allows the song to take on a multitude of meanings to each individual listener. The final product is a thought provoking tune that attempts to dive into the intricate theories of our everyday grind.