Meaning of “What’s the Use?” by Mac Miller

Written By Michael Miller

Michael is a music teacher and professional cellist. He loves uncovering the deeper meaning of popular songs.

Mac Miller’s “What’s the Use?” conveys the story of a man reflecting on his life and the pursuit of happiness. It delves into themes of substance use, fame, and the relentless quest for contentment, painted against a backdrop of smooth beats and funky basslines. At its core, the song questions societal and self-imposed pressures and explores the transient nature of life and success. The recurring line, “you can love it, you can leave it,” symbolizes the constant battle between desire and detachment, while the mentions of “the juice” suggest a reliance on substances to navigate emotional terrains.

The song seems not to be about a specific person but rather explores universal experiences and emotions, potentially emanating from Mac’s own life struggles. It’s a lyrical journey through introspection, resilience, and the human condition, possibly written as a cathartic exploration of Mac’s own dichotomies and contradictions.

Dive in as we unravel the layers and nuances in this lyrical masterpiece, exploring themes of self-reflection, struggle, and the pursuit of genuine happiness!

“What’s the Use?” Lyrics Meaning

In “What’s the Use?”, Mac Miller crafts a narrative that goes beyond superficial interpretations, providing a rich tapestry of thoughts and emotions for listeners to unravel. The song’s introspective nature serves as a mirror reflecting Mac’s internal battles and the universal human quest for purpose and connection.

“You can love it, you can leave it

They say you’re nothing without it”

These lines illustrate the societal pressures and norms dictating our pursuits and desires. The paradoxical notion of loving and leaving hints at the ephemerality of happiness and success, challenging the listener to ponder their own relationship with desire and detachment.

“The breeze ain’t flowin’ like me, motherfucker, hol’ up”

The mention of the breeze symbolizes a natural, unforced flow, possibly representing Mac’s artistic and personal journey. It’s a statement of self-assertion and confidence, portraying his unique presence in the music industry.

“Space shuttle, Elon

Time we don’t waste much, fuck and we wake up”

These lines depict a fast-paced, elevated existence, with a nod to Elon Musk’s technological advancements. They reflect the notion of living in the moment, embracing spontaneity and the fleeting nature of time.

“I’m so above and beyond you, take drugs to make it up”

Here, Mac openly addresses the use of substances, possibly as a means to cope with the pressures and emotional turmoil inherent in his experiences. It’s a raw and honest revelation, highlighting the dichotomy between external perceptions and internal realities.

“But you gotta love me

‘Cause I save the day, spend money”

This segment reflects a desire for acceptance and love, possibly indicating the internal conflicts arising from fame and the expectations placed upon him. The mention of “save the day” could imply his role as a musical savior, providing solace through his art.

“Heads turnin’ like a hurricane swervin’

Tell the sun, get up outta my shade”

Mac uses vivid imagery to describe the impact of his presence and the recognition he commands. It’s a proclamation of his stature in the music industry, coupled with a desire to stay true to his essence amidst the whirlwind of fame.

Throughout “What’s the Use?”, Mac Miller intertwines profound reflections with smooth, rhythmic flows, inviting listeners to delve into the complexities of the human soul and ponder the meaning of life and existence.

Why Was “What’s the Use?” Written?

Understanding the context of “What’s the Use?” provides a deeper insight into the motivations and emotions embedded within the lyrics. Mac Miller, known for his candidness about his struggles with substance abuse and mental health, wrote this song potentially as a medium to express his internal battles and reflections.

At the time of writing, Mac might have been grappling with the duality of his public persona and private emotions, trying to reconcile his desires, successes, and the inevitable challenges that accompanied them. The song serves as an introspective journey, exploring the paradoxes of life and the continuous search for meaning and fulfillment.

The overall tone of the song encapsulates Mac’s resilience and authenticity, offering a glimpse into his mind and the philosophical musings that shaped his artistic journey. The undercurrents of vulnerability and strength present in the song paint a picture of a man striving to understand himself and the world around him, providing a timeless and relatable exploration of the human experience.