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September 12, 2018
The world lost a legend on Friday with the tragic passing of Mac Miller, who died of a suspected overdose at the young age of 26. The Pittsburgh-born rapper will not only be remembered for his sensational music and unique production, but will also be remembered for being an all-around good person.
Throughout his career, Miller was widely beloved and respected across the music world by artists such as Wiz Khalifa, a fellow Pittsburgh native who Miller became very close to during his time, Rick Ross and Jay Z. His music, from his early mixtapes such as Faces to albums such as Macadelic and GO:OD AM, were cathartic works of art on which Miller expressed his pain, loneliness and his problems with drugs.
Miller arrived on the rap scene in 2007 with his debut mixtape But My Mackin’ Ain’t Easy under the name “EZ Mac,” which he eventually changed to Mac Miller. He was just 15 when he dropped this inaugural tape. His fifth mixtape, Best Day Ever, featuring hit songs like “Donald Trump” and “Keep Floatin,” was his breakthrough to mainstream fame.
Miller’s first studio album, Blue Slide Park, soon followed and debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, which impressed many as it was an independently distributed album, the first of which to top the charts since 1995, and landed him a spot on the 2011 XXL Freshman Class. His second studio album, Watching Movies with the Sound Off, was more personal than previous albums, and it showed his continuing growth as an artist.
Following this, Miller released his 10th and final mixtape, Faces, which released in 2014. Faces, on which Mac touched on personal things like his relationships, his mental issues and his drug addiction, over jazzy beats he produced himself, is widely acclaimed to be his best tape. “Trapped inside these dreams of mine/Just tryna get some peace of mind,” sings Miller on the chorus of Funeral.
GO:OD AM, Miller’s third studio album, released in 2015. This album is stocked to the brim with hits such as “100 Grandkids,” “Break the Law” and “Cut the Check,” featuring Chief Sosa, as well as moodier songs such as “Weekend” featuring Miguel and “ROS.” These slower songs gave us a taste of what we were to expect on his next album, The Divine Feminine. An album inspired by love and his relationship with pop-star Ariana Grande, Miller poured his heart out on tracks such as “Stay” and “Cinderella,” featuring the king of hooks himself, Ty Dolla $ign.
The Divine Feminine was unexpected from Miller, who surprised many fans by releasing a love album, but it was masterfully done, mixing elements of Faces with his new style that he procured through the years following it. “Ooh Cinderella, don’t you run out of time/It feels like you been taken, all day/Wherever you come from, wherever you goin’, I promise I’m not far behind/So don’t you dare throw this away,” sings Miller on “Cinderella.”
His fifth and final album, Swimming, released this past summer. Filled with sadness from his breakup from a two-year relationship with Grande, Miller touches on the loneliness he faces and the dark thoughts that fill his mind. This album encapsulated the struggle Miller faced of finding what’s next in his life that could bring him happiness. “Love so much that my heart get broke/ I don’t really know how the normal ish go, so.”
Mac Miller’s passing is a tragedy that the music world shouldn’t have had to endure so soon. Throughout his career, his music influenced so many people and helped save those who thought life couldn’t get better. His life was cut entirely too short, but we should still appreciate him and his work, no matter that he passed because of an overdose. His passing should serve as a wake up call to people dealing with similar afflictions as he was. As saddening as it is to see him go, learn something from his mistakes and become a better person from it. Thank you for blessing us with yourself and your boundless talents, Mac. May you rest easy.