Wishing Mac Miller would “Come Back”


Julia Landman

On September seventh, Mac Miller died of a drug overdose at the age of twenty-six. He was born as Malcolm McCormick in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He started rapping when he was fourteen, after learning how to play the drums and piano. He started informally making mixtapes in high school, and eventually released one titled “K.I.D.S.”, (Kickin’ Incredibly Dope Shit). This mixtape blew up instantly, and Miller seemed to formally enter the rap game. He was labeled a “frat rapper” by many, due to his whiteness and commerciality. He released his first album in 2001, Blue Slide Park. It hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, but he still received some backlash from critics who talked about the album as being impossible to listen to and boring. Still, the ratings were high, and his cult following began.

Miller grew up after this album, bought a house and grew a beard. He befriended other prominent artists and earned his place as a rapper. Very soon after, he started dating singer Ariana Grande, a relationship that happened following several musical collaborations. He was thought to be a phase by a lot of people, but in 2016 Miller released The Divine Feminine; the album was thought to be a tribute to Ariana. A soft, almost jazzy album coming from the once juvenile rapper showed his evolution; even more people began to follow him. The goofy artist had become poetic; he was taking his craft more seriously and in a mature fashion. He was then seen to be the artist that was there to stay that he was.

Miller released his most recent album, titled “Swimming”, this past August. The album cover pictures Miller wearing a suit, sitting in a coffin-like box, smoking a cigarette. He looks defeated. Miller had struggled with addiction from his teen years, and after just losing a long term relationship, he was in a hard place. He had always been open about his struggles with drug abuse, and the depression that accompanied it for him, and the album is about his struggles.

The album did not receive a lot of notice, because it was released on the same day as Travis Scott’s Astroworld, a highly anticipated album from a world renowned rapper. People seemed to be over Miller, and no one was really talking about his album. After his death, one of his friends, a fellow rapper titled Ugly God, tweeted: “Remember when Mac dropped his album the same night as Astroworld, and y’all were saying ‘y’all hear sum?’ ‘who still listens to him?’ and ‘tell him keep it’? We had a whole convo about it and he literally told me if he died people would act like they never said it. f*** y’all. RIP”.

Miller died from an unintentional drug overdose. He was an addict, and while people tried to help him, they never succeeded. One of those people included his ex-girlfriend Ariana Grande, who received an unfair amount of hate for the death of her ex-boyfriend. She played no role in hurting him, and was mourning his loss, when over social media she was berated with hate comments blaming her for Mac’s death. She disabled her Instagram because of it. She is a real person, who knew Mac on a personal level, and wanted nothing other than to help him, so the comments hit her hard, as she was already dealing with the death of a loved one, and did not deserve to be blamed for that death. Mac Miller’s death was complex, and should be faulted to the substances he abused, not to his ex girlfriend.