Rapper Mac Miller Gone at 26
On the Friday afternoon of September 7th, people around the world were shocked by the news: Pittsburgh born rapper Malcolm James McCormick, or better known by his stage name, Mac Miller was pronounced dead in his home from an apparent drug overdose. Mac had been very open about his addiction in both his music and various interviews. He had said he was on the journey to sobriety but was struggling.
Rapper Wiz Khalifa took to Twitter to express his condolences to Malcolm’s family and friends, writing, “Praying for Mac’s family and that he rest easy.” Khalifa and Mac both hailed from Pittsburgh and were signed to Rostrum records early in their careers. Khalifa was not the only celebrity to express their condolences towards Mac and his family, others such as J. Cole, Chance the Rapper, and Childish Gambino took to twitter to say goodbye to the rapper.
As a kid, Malcolm taught himself how to play piano, drums, guitar, and bass. It was in high school when he decided he wanted to become an accomplished rapper. Under the name, “Easy Mac” he released his first mixtape, “But My Mackin’ Ain’t Easy”, in 2007 at the age of 15--but he didn't stop there. In 2009, he started going by the name “Mac Miller”, and went onto release two mixtapes. Then, in the same year, Miller got signed to Rostrum Records and soon after dropped his fourth mixtape, “K.I.D.S”. This was the first mixtape that really put him into the spotlight, leading to his first tour, “The Incredibly Dope Tour”, which sold out at all of its locations. At this time, it was simply mellow, fun, stoner rap which mainly appealed to a young demographic and helped him create a strong and loyal fanbase.
Things started to turn in a different direction for Miller with the release of his 2012 mixtape, “Macadelic”. According to Miller, he decided to “stop thinking about what kind of music he should make, and just start saying what he wanted to say.” This really showed in “Macadelic”, with the unique production and sampling, even more so in his lyrics. Everything was more personal; there was more focus on things beyond himself. Instead of going through the motions, fans could hear the effort and pursuit of something greater in his voice. “Macadelic” also brought some incredible features to the table, like Kendrick Lamar and Lil Wayne.
In 2013, Miller would go on to release his second studio album, “Watching Movies With The Sound Off”. This was his first release that really began to make people take him more seriously. His flows were more interesting and his lyrics were more personal, focusing on more introspective topics like his mental health and depression. But the shining feature of this album was the production, which was almost all done by Miller himself. In the next two years, he would go on to release his 11th mixtape, “Faces” and his third studio album, “GOOD A:M”. Miller’s fans would come to love each of his news projects more than the last as he showcased his growth as an individual over the years.
In 2016 Miller released his fourth studio album, “The Divine Feminine”. This album was like nothing he had ever released before solely based on the fact that the entire album was about love. Lyrically, Miller has said that the album was not about love romantically, but rather about learning from the women in his life, and what those experiences meant to him. This brings us to Miller’s most recent, and last release, 2018’s “Swimming”. “Swimming “ had rose to number three on the Billboard Top 100 chart just below “Astroworld” and “Scorpion” two of the most sought-after albums of 2018.
This new album is full of material that goes far deeper than Miller has ever gone before. He digs deep into his insecurities, sadness, and depression all while trying his best to come out on the other side. He recognizes that he is down but continues to try and find the lightest parts of a very dark point in his life. The production is near perfect on every track with the help of artists like Steve Lacy and John Mayer. It seems as though Miller has finally matured into the musical artist he always aspired to be since he was a young kid in highschool.
Although Miller’s long and beautiful journey of becoming the man he was destined to be was stopped short in its tracks, he will without a doubt be remembered as one of the greats. His music will always be here, as well as his inspiration to the music industry. Rest in peace Malcolm, you will forever be missed.