On September 7th, 2018, rapper Mac Miller was found dead in his home of a suspected overdose, at the young age of 26. The untimely loss of such a talented and kind artist has hurt immeasurably. To remember Mac Miller, we asked fans to share some of their favorite memories.
We never met, but it has felt like I lost a close friend. I know I’m not alone in that feeling. I think, in large part, this has to do with how honest and open Mac Miller was about his life. He greeted his terrors by name and then made music in creative, playful, and fascinating ways. I first heard a song of his in 2009 and knew it was special right away. Reaffirming it was to see that he was also wrestling with the ideas and issues I was thinking about at the time. We grew together in this way. Over time, musicians were taken on and off my iPod and streams but I never stopped listening to him. He remained a favorite throughout each phase of my life.
His songs inspired my hardest workouts, my best paintings, and my most thoughtful considerations toward my loved ones. I worry I will be less now without his releases and spirit. However, I am grateful he created so much to begin with. I, as have millions of others, have benefited in substantial ways from getting to know Mac through his music. For me, he embodied and inspires creativity, positivity, and work ethic. Mac’s life was tragically short, but one of tremendous impact. – Dan Bergholz
Mac Miller’s music was there when I needed it. GO:OD AM came out while I was living in a foreign country, lonely, depressed, and crammed into a two-bedroom apartment with six other people. “Weekend” in particular made the bottom of my psyche reverberate like a gong, and I kept tapping play with all the force of a swinging mallet. It showed me that there was someone else seizing onto a tiny hedonism to keep going. Telling themselves they’d be good by the weekend, or the next, or the one after that. I didn’t see his show when he was touring Europe then. This summer, I kept telling myself I would eventually get a ticket to his next Chicago show.
Mac was never my favorite rapper or favorite producer, but he was damn good at both, and I got to watch him build those skills in public in real time. As a white artist in a black art form, he was a model for how to participate and innovate in his own lane. Mac was dedicated to exploring music when it would have been so easy for him to just coast off his initial success. Instead, each new record was truly new. He brought out the best in the best musicians alive. It was clear how much fun he had doing it. Listen to the chorus of “Weekend.” It feels like a parade.
His struggles with relationships, substances, and his own mind showed there is no linear path, no simple binary between good times and bad. Watching an artist, a person like Mac grow isn’t possible in retrospect via magazine back issues and social media archives. It’s something you can only understand as it’s happening, and only appreciate when it’s tragically cut short. – Jack Riedy
I was first introduced to Mac’s work upon starting at university. Amongst the plethora of transatlantic cultural exchanges that constitute a St Andrews education was a rapid sharing of music tastes, as Europe and America battled it out for control of the freshers week pre-drinks aux cord. It was then that I was first introduced to Mac’s work with the opening bars of “Kool Aid and Frozen Pizza,” immediately grabbing my interest. It was light hearted, care-free, quirky and ultimately fun, music that summed up the complexities and excitement of being young and ambitious.
Never one to shy away from innovation and collaboration, Mac regularly teamed up with the hip hop crème de la crème. It was amongst these collabs that perhaps some of my favourite tracks of his emerged. Tracks like the Flying Lotus-produced “Somebody Do Something” and the funk tinged “Dang” with Anderson .Paak. One of my favourite projects of Mac’s was his live performance in London alongside The Internet. An intimate and stripped back affair of some of his biggest hits, the performance is quite simply flawless, blending the sharp vocals of Miller with the smooth RnB of The Internet makes for a match in heaven and simply put it’s a performance that I can watch time and time again. In a genre that is oft criticised for lacklustre live performances, Mac really set the bar for how hip hop can, and in my opinion should, be performed within live spaces.
Take a few minutes to peruse the almost endless amount of tributes and outpouring of grief from across the hip hop community and you will quickly realise just how much of a pillar Mac was. From A-Trak to Post Malone, seemingly every major modern producer and artist has stories of meaningful friendship. There’s countless reports of him offering useful advice to newcomers of the game and promoting artists that we now know as household names through his tour rosters. Mac Miller was clearly a very caring and thoughtful individual with an ethos and love for hip hop that extended far beyond the music.
Rest in Peace Mac, and know that your love and passion for music truly enriched the lives of millions. – Chuck Jaco
If you are struggling with addiction or mental health, you are not alone. Reaching out to friends or additional support is the bravest thing you can do.
You matter, and we care about you.
United States Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK
United States Substance Abuse Hotline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
United Kingdom Suicide Prevention Hotline: 116 123
United Kingdom Substance Abuse Hotline: 01708 765200
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