Mac Miller on stage

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

Mac Miller, a voice of a generation, passes at 26.

On Sept. 7, artist Mac Miller, born Malcom McCormick, passed away from an overdose in his Studio City home. 

The proud Pittsburgh rapper, singer, producer and actor had just released an album and was getting ready to go on tour throughout the U.S. A tragic loss at the young age of 26, Mac Miller made a massive impact during his time as both a person and musician and has influenced many artists from all over the world, leaving a legacy that will continue to grow as time goes on. 

Before he became Mac Miller, he was known as underground rapper EZ Mac and released his first mixtape “But My Mackin’ Ain’t Easy” at the age of 15. He would go on to release a total of 12 mixtapes between 2007 and 2015 including classic mixtapes such as “K.I.D.S,” “Best Day Ever,” “Faces” and “Macadelic.” 

Mac’s first official studio album, “Blue Slide Park,” was released in Nov. 2011. His album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and featured songs “Frick Park Market” “Party on Fifth Ave” and “Of the Soul.” 

A year and a half later, in 2013, Miller dropped “Watching Movies with the Sound Off” and featured artists included: Earl Sweatshirt, Action Bronson, Schoolboy Q, Tyler, the Creator and others. 

More critics began seeing his growth as an artist as he received many positive reviews complementing his new psychedelic hip-hop influence and improved lyricism. The album also debuted at number three on the US Billboard 200, selling 102,000 copies in its first week.

Under his alter-ego Larry Fisherman, Mac began producing for various artists including SZA, Ab-Soul and Vince Staples as well as some of his own personal projects. In the same year of becoming a producer, Mac Miller’s reality-documentary TV series, “Mac Miller and the Most Dope Family,” premiered and aired for two seasons with MTV. The actor, musician and producer’s legacy was becoming a force to be reckoned with.

In 2014, Mac Miller left RostrumRecords and later dropped his independently released mixtape “Faces.” At the end of  2014, Mac announced that he signed a recording and distribution deal with Warner Bros. Records. In Sept. of that same year, “GO:OD AM” was also released. 

“Dang!” featuring Anderson Paak came out in 2016, along with the announcement of his fourth studio album, “The Divine Feminine.” Collaborations with CeeLo Green, Ty Dolla Sign, Ariana Grande and Kendrick Lamar helped showcase the evolution in Mac Miller’s sound. Scott Glaysher of the prominent hip-hop magazine, XXL, said that “all in all, ‘The Divine Feminine’ is an experiment well done. Mac Miller’s creative mind explores the ins and outs of the modern relationship while maintaining a certain level of sophistication that can be considered timeless.”

Aug. 3 of this year was a night to remember for hip-hop fans. At midnight, Mac released “Swimming” alongside Travis Scott’s “Astroworld” and YG’s “Stay Dangerous.” “Swimming” debuted at  number three on the Billboard 200.

The album received the best overall rating from all of his past projects with a 78 out of 100. New Musical Express stated, “Swimming isn’t what you would have expected from Miller when he first started dropping mixtapes over a decade ago, but that doesn’t matter. This album shows his growth as both an artist, and as a person who’s had to deal with the most private aspects of their life being publicly dissected. It’s a stellar artistic statement.” Rolling Stone wrote that “Swimming” is Miller’s “most impactful album of his career.” 

Mac Miller was a talented individual who was a voice for our generation and will be missed by millions. His lyrics are so relatable to his fans that it feels as if we knew him personally. 

Miller yearned to show everyone they should love each other and be positive, even when it can be hard. His love for others will always be remembered as we continue to cherish and absorb his message for the world. 

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