To know of him was to love him.
Mac Miller (née Malcolm McCormick) was the soundtrack of high school and college for Generation Y particularly. If you didn’t blast “Kool Aid and Frozen Pizza” in your used 1998 Honda Civic or caption at least one of your photos, “We gonna take over the world while these haters getting mad” – You might have been living under a very comfortable rock.
As both his audience and Mac Miller journeyed into adulthood, his music became a safe haven for those struggling with self-identity, mental illness, relationships, addiction, and a plethora of other issues. He let the world know he didn’t have it all figured out either. His latest album before his passing, Swimming (which has entered the Billboard Top 200 at No. 6), encapsulated many of those themes. He candidly told listeners that there was a light at the end of the tunnel for himself and for those experiencing darkness in their lives.
This Friday will mark two weeks since the passing of the 26-year-old rapper from a suspected overdose on September 7. Somehow, the headlines have shifted from delving into the circumstances surrounding his death and his legacy to an increased focus on his ex-girlfriend, 25-year-old pop sensation, Ariana Grande.
Frankly, that seems to have been a prominent theme since the moment he died.
News outlets worldwide are taking Grande’s star power and using it as click bait to increase viewership on their articles. Her whereabouts since the passing of Mac Miller should not be the first thing you see when you type “Mac Miller” into Google. Mac Miller was his own person. Additionally, it doesn’t allow Grande the proper space to mourn if the media is eagerly waiting on their toes for her next post or sighting – ready to critique what she does or doesn’t say.
To continuously attach Mac to anyone is damaging to his individuality as an artist. He wasn’t loved because of their former relationship or the music they made together. That was just a bonus that added to the variety of music he was capable of creating. Those who knew of him loved him for his ability to be unapologetically himself.
Now that he’s gone, the next news story shouldn’t be “What will Ariana Grande say next?”
It should be “How do we continue honoring Mac Miller? How do we break the stigma surrounding addiction, so we can help those we love? What can we do so this doesn’t happen again?”
The rap game lost a legend who deserves to be mentioned as such, instead of the “ex-boyfriend” of an international pop star. Five studio albums, 12 mixtapes, countless singles, and music videos are the material he should be remembered by.
Rest in eternal power, Mac. Thank you.