Mac Miller: The Man, The Legend, The Lifesaver
On Friday, September 7, 2018, the news came out that rapper, Mac Miller, passed away due to an overdose. An honest storyteller, most fans knew he’d been battling drug abuse and depression for years. I’m still trying to find the proper words to describe how I’m feeling. I’m still trying to find the proper reasoning why I’m so thoroughly affected by the death of a person I’ve never met before. Mac Miller was an enigmatic person, and a prolific musician, morphing from a frat-boy rapper to thoughtful, soulful rapping, a testament to his growth both as an artist and a human being. His growth in his art mimicked the growth of his listeners. My adolescence and young adulthood have been defined so thoroughly by Mac Miller and his music. In frank, ineloquent words: this shit hurts.
At 26 years old, Miller recently released his fifth studio album, Swimming, a few weeks ago. This album, a vivid exploration of his internal strife painted over jazzy beats, gave us an in depth look at his current mental and emotional state. This honesty, this vulnerability, is what made Mac Miller such an important figure to his listeners. By describing his demons, he himself was helping alleviate the demons of others. He helped me alleviate my demons. When I heard his album, Watching Movies with the Sound Off, I was immediately taken aback with the vividness of his content. I’d been a fan of Millers for years, but now a high school student, I was battling the many struggles high schoolers battle. I played this album, along with his mixtape, Faces, over and over and over again. While in high school, these two albums were two of the albums that kept me sane, as a sophomore in college, The Divine Feminine, was one that helped me fight my inner demons. This is the legacy that Mac Miller has left with me. This is the legacy Mac Miller has left with so many people. A musician that has—as I have—grown up and had to battle a ton of things he didn’t expect to deal with. His albums undoubtedly color the soundtrack of my life, both the highs and the lows. His music has painted the lives of people for nearly a decade.
What’s perhaps most unsettling is the idea that many of us, because we’ve grown up with him for almost a decade, were expecting to grow some more. Every album Mac Miller has released has represented me at a different stage in life—I, for some unwarranted reason thought this would last forever. This death is one that we can feel. It’s one that hurts. With prophetic verses from Mac like “they don’t want me to OD and have to talk to my mother, telling her they could have done more to help me” the wounds are only deepened. It’s a dark science. Addiction and mental health issues continue to plague generations and we all need to continue to be more well-versed and educated on both topics. Both are battles that require so much emotional, mental, and physical strength. It is not enough to say, “check on your friends.” We have to do more, we have to know more, and we have to be better. All of us.
To die at 26 is so frighteningly young. I’m not sure if that’s the reason I’ve been so affected by this death. Or maybe it’s his unequivocal role in my development. It could be that this is coming after so many celebrity deaths and overdoses. It may even be because I feel like I’ve grown up with him, tis the beauty of music, right? It may even be some muddled mixture of them all. This death certainly blindsided me. It’s put so many things in perspective for me—death, life, health—as I can only imagine it’s done for other fans. I’m sending love and light to all those affected by this death, particularly his friends, family, and ex-girlfriend, Ariana Grande. No one deserves to be blamed for the death of a loved one, especially when it’s in no way their fault. As we all make sense of this borrowed time we’re given, let’s all remember to support and care for each other. Rest in Peace to Easy Mac with the Cheesy Raps. You’ll certainly be missed, and you’ll always be loved.
Cover Via The 300s