Mac Miller dead at 26

October 25, 2018

Malcolm James McCormick, more commonly known as Mac Miller, died of an apparent drug overdose in his Los Angeles residence on September 7. He was found unresponsive in his home at 11:51 AM. The police are awaiting the results of a toxicology report which should arrive in a couple of weeks. The results of the report will indicate the cause of death. His body has been flown to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where his funeral will be held.

Mac was born on January 19, 1992, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His parents knew that they had a star in the making because of their son’s prancing around the house while playing instruments and singing. He taught himself how to play the guitar, bass, piano and the drums. 

ANDREW STEPHENSON
Mac Miller performing while giving his signature thumps up gesture.
(The Come up Show/Flickr)

His mom, Karen Myers, is Jewish, making Mac Miller biologically Jewish. He had a Bar Mitzvah and throughout his life, attended high holiday servicesMac was a proud Jew, obtaining Jewish jewelry and alluding to many ideas in his lyrics that are associated with Judaism.

Growing up in Pittsburgh, Mac Miller was made a hometown hero when he signed with a local-based record label, Rostrum Records. Originally, Miller had trouble deciding which company to sign with, but he couldn’t stay away from his true roots. Rostrum Records contains numerous famous musicians, most notably rapper Wiz Khalifa.

Mac Miller was infatuated the idea of love. In an interview with Pitchfork, Mac expressed that “love is underrated. I think people think it is like a cheesy corny thing to always be like loving and have a positive energy about you…It’s not true.” Over the years, he has been in many relationships. None of them eclipsed the attention that he and Ariana Grande received. They collaborated on the highly acclaimed songs “The Way” and “My Favorite Part.” Mac Miller had a deep appreciation for women which is shown in his album “The Divine Feminine.” Though he denied that this album was about Ariana, the influence of women had a tremendous presence in his life. Months before his death, their two-year relationship came to a close. He eventually moved on, but some speculate that he became depressed following the breakup.

Mac Miller at a Steelers game in Pittsburgh with his girlfriend at the time, Ariana Grande. (Kmeron/Flickr)

Even though his stage name is not absurd (compared to other rappers), some still ponder how Miller created it. He went through a lengthy naming process. In high school, he stumbled upon “Easy Mac.”  As a young kid, his grandfather bestowed the nickname “Mac” (short for Malcolm) upon him. He combined this title designation with the word “easy” preceding it. After his high school days, Easy Mac began to despise his title. Looking for answers, he turned to his family. His brother’s name is Miller McCormick so he integrated the two names to form “Mac Miller.” Additionally, he had alter egos: Larry Lovestein & the Velvet Revival, Larry Fisherman and Delusional Thomas.

The Jewish rapper received many accolades, including coming in at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 Chart with his debut studio album, “Blue Slide Park,” back in 2011. His first claim to fame was his hit single “Knock Knock.” This video went viral on Youtube and put Miller on the map. Another one of his huge successes was sparked by businessman (at the time) Donald Trump. The track “Donald Trump” blew up and cemented that Mac Miller was not just a one hit wonder, proving that he possessed extraordinary talent by being able to make entertaining music for people of all ages. His accomplishments allowed him to catch the eye of multiple famous rappers such as Kendrick Lamar, Miguel, Lil Wayne, Chief Keef, Schoolboy Q, Big Sean, Wiz Khalifa, Juicy J and more.

Due to his ongoing struggle with depression and drug abuse, Miller’s songs have plenty of drug references. Trying to better himself, becoming sober was his main goal. In his song “Brand Name,” he states “To everyone who sell me drugs/ Don’t mix it with that b*****t/ I’m hoping not to join the twenty seven club.” Dying at twenty-six, Miller was just short of joining the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobain in the twenty-seven club (famous musicians who have passed away at twenty-seven).

Mac Miller has impacted millions of people. This includes students at Weber. For example, senior Zack Miller (no relation to Mac Miller), shared his thoughts and condolences regarding the death of the rapper. Zach said that Mac Miller was “an artistic inspiration and calming force in [his] life. His music and lyrics have comforted [him] as well as hype [him] up whenever.” Just like Zack, there are fans around the world who are influenced by Mac. Grieving with pain, Zack stresses that “his death came too soon.” To mourn the loss of his life, fans are treasuring him by streaming his music 970% more than usual.

His latest album, “Swimming,” was released roughly a month before his passing. Detailing the work he had to do in order to overcome his past hardships, Mac Miller voices that he believed that there was light at the end of the road. He has come a long way by turning into a self-appreciating and loveable person. It’s a shame that we can no longer watch him evolve into a better person.

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