On Friday, September 7th, the world lost another talent artist in 26 year old Mac Miller. The rapper, recognized by fans and peers in the industry for his lyricism and wordplay, was found unresponsive in his Los Angeles home. He was later pronounced dead on the scene of an apparent drug overdose, though an official cause of death has not been determined.
Born Malcolm McCormick, Mac Miller’s commitment to artistry over commercialism earned him a dedicated fan base due to his experimentation and meaningful lyrics. In his final interview with Vulture Magazine, released just one day before his untimely death, readers can get a true sense of the genuine and complex character that is Mac Miller. Drawing inspiration from all spheres, Miller proved his ingenuity and and creative prowess by combining powerful lyrics and innovative beats. His musical catalog is insightful and varied, including playful braggadocious songs like “Donald Trump” to more emotionally vulnerable songs like “Aquarium”, which featured the lyrics:
Confessions that I have and curiosity about life and death
Most of us will never understand it, we just like the quest
Read about the meaning of dreaming and all its messages
Sedatives that take me to God, witness his fetishes
We all in search for substance, that drugs you pain and numbness
Circumstances advance the second chances for this beloved
I wish I could tell you that I didn’t see this coming
But I’m ready for it all to end, die before tomorrow’s trend
Your life, it all depends on dollars spent and knowledge gained
Darkness on the brain, lost inside, forgotten days
Life, it works in such mysterious ways
All these years that pray, hope you hear what I say
Mac Miller didn’t shy away from addressing his darker thoughts- exemplified through is 2014 mixtape, Faces. His struggle with substance abuse also spilled into his public life, including a DUI in May. “I used to rap super openly about really dark shit because that’s what I was experiencing at the time. That’s fine, that’s good, that’s life. It should be all the emotions.”
Despite openly talking about his drug use and related mental health issues, the cycle of substance abuse ultimately ended in tragedy, cutting a promising, young life short before he had the chance to heal or reach his full potential. His sudden death leaves thousands in mourning, including those who were close to him.
Malcolm McCormick’s story goes beyond his fame and success. Hundreds of thousands of Americans across all demographics have similar stories, which is reflected in the rampant substance abuse epidemic and the consequential spike in overdose deaths. While his passing is tragic, it can also serve as a wake up call.