In Memoriam: Mac Miller (1992-2018)
by Zelia Bukhari
courtesy of NRK P3 (Flickr.com)
From EZ Mac to Larry Fisherman, Pittsburgh rapper Mac Miller had a knack in turning his sadness, regrets, and mental state into beautiful music that appealed to many generations and lifestyles.
His most recent record ‘Swimming’, the fifth and last album to be released by Miller during his lifetime, can be solely described as brilliantly effortless. Produced partly by himself under the pseudonym Larry Fisherman, Miller’s talent is showcased throughout every aspect of the record. From beats to lyrics, to the overall style combination of rap, hip-hop and jazz, Miller released an album that not only highlights his growth as an artist but also as a human being. He raps about turmoil, yet emitting positive vibrations that transcend into a dreamy, calming state. ‘Swimming’ itself encapsulates the process of healing in a dignified way, which is why Miller’s unexpected death comes as such a shock.
Miller passed away on September 7th of possible overdose. Yet, according to friends and family, he was the healthiest he had been in years. Though he faced many periods of struggle that can be identified in his music, when his vices did get the best of him, this was not one of them. Consistently recounting his downfalls throughout all of his production, for the first time Miller had also included his rebirth – a new leaf not only turning, but doing so confidently and in control.
Miller has an extensive discography which, at only the age of 26, gives the impression he had been making music for years beyond his own age. His hard work, dedication to his artistry and efforts to always progress optimistically have made him a staple in the rap world since the days of ‘Easy Mac With The Cheesy Raps’.
After ten independently released mixtapes such as ‘K.I.D.S’, then five studio albums like the debut ‘Blue Slide Park’, making music may have been a coping mechanism for Miller. But his work was also an inspiration to those who listened and were seeking a way to cope with their own demons. It is apparent that Mac Miller had only recently been making the music he had always envisioned to, which makes his passing even more moving.
Miller will be remembered as not only an insanely capable and accomplished rapper, singer, producer from Pittsburgh, who created a brand independently and with fervor, but as a friend to his fans; a musician that didn’t care about his own fame. He was a rock to many in his life, whether strangers or friends. Miller spread his love and generosity to whoever crossed his path, and his presence will truly live on. He represents a bright light for many – and it will keep shining on through his music and the atmosphere it creates.