Who’s Malcom McCormick you might ask? Malcom, better known as Mac Miller, was a hip-hop artist and producer who passed away this past Friday at just twenty-six years old. The rapper shockingly passed in his home in Studio City, CA due to an apparent drug overdose.
Just last month the artist released his fifth studio album, Swimming, and was about to embark on his album tour starting in October.
The tragic death of Miller has left many fans from young adults such as myself to respected artists like Jay-Z and John Mayer completely devastated. However, even though the “Self Care” singer passed so soon, the influence he had on other artists and his fans will stay for a lifetime.
Miller’s interest in music started from an early age. He taught himself how to play the piano, drums, and guitar all before he hit high school. Then, in high school Miller began rapping and released a few mixtapes. However, the lyrical content of his tracks on his first few mixtapes and singles weren’t all that impressive. At the time Miller was just a kid and his lyrics targeted those around the mid-teen years such as myself at the time. His raps were party and rebellious anthems we’d play in mom’s car on the way home from school, but quickly turned the nob down when Miller used his choice words.
At 19, Miller landed on his feet and officially began his rapping career when he signed with Rostrum Records. He released his first ever studio album Blue Slide Park in 2011, which hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. Everyone was talking about the little white boy from Pittsburgh who was blowing up the hip-hop scene. In an interview with Vulture just a day before his passing, Miller recalled his early success by stating, “There was this time when I was the most Googled thing on the internet. It was like ‘diet, carrots, and Mac Miller.”
However, critics weren’t so easy on Miller. His lyrical and producing abilities still weren’t top notch. But as Miller dived deeper into his career, he evolved into an artist who’s experimentation with lyrical content and sound made him one of a kind.
Not one of his studio albums sound the same. Miller’s self produced beats on the track “Aquarium” off of Watching Movies With The Sound Off give the song a whimsical vibe making you question whether or not this is hip-hop you’re really listening to. Miller’s 2013 live album Live From Space features a wicked electric guitar solo from the song “The Question” reminding you Miller is a true self-taught and gifted musician. Miller’s third studio album GO:OD AM gets honest and vulnerable as he explicitly raps about his struggles with substance abuse and depression. Miller’s fourth studio album The Divine Feminine gets funky with several of the tracks featuring a full jazz band and a saxophone introduction on “Stay” that can’t not make your head bop.
Not only did Miller achieve great success and developed immensely as an artist over the years, but to everyone who knew him he was simply one of the nicest guys around. Missy Elliot paid tribute to Miller by stating, “He was such a kind spirit.” Chance the Rapper also paid his respects to the late rapper by taking to Twitter saying,“But beyond helping me launch my career he was one of the sweetest guys I ever knew. Great man. I loved him for real.”