Mac Miller's Death Hits Home for More Reasons Than One

Mac Miller, a legendary and innovative rapper-meets-producer, died at the age of 26 on Sept. 7.

Though Miller deserves to be remembered as the happy-go-lucky creative person he became, his artistic niche relied heavily on his painful addiction to drugs and alcohol. 2012’s ‘Macadelic’ provides a decently realistic version of a desperate struggle to find peace within himself. His 2014 mixtape ‘Faces’ is a trippy journey filled with borderline disturbing details of his struggle with mental illness and drug addiction.

‘Perfect Circle / God Speed’ on 2015’s ‘GO:OD AM’ hits particularly hard, thanks to lyrics like ‘them pills that I’m poppin’, I need to man up/admit that it’s a problem, I need to wake up’ and ‘they don’t want me to OD and have to talk to my mother/telling her they could have done more to help me.’

Miller was always deeply honest about his drug problems, yet his most recent album, ‘Swimming,’ was a hopeful glimpse into the rapper’s future. Perhaps the most painful aspect of his tragic passing is that the world was just getting to meet this new version of Miller - a healthy, optimistic individual that was ready to take on the next portion of his life.

Merely hours before his overdose, he was tweeting about going on tour and encouraging fans to buy tickets. Fans, musicians and loved ones have spent the last few days pondering how a recently reinvented soul like Miller could possibly pass away so suddenly. Despite addiction being a profoundly fickle illness, it’s the same reason for his demise.

Even with Miller’s alleged sober and vivacious new state of mind, no one actually knows what was happening behind closed doors. In ‘2009,’ a reflective tune on 2018’s /Swimming,’ Miller muses about his struggles: ‘and sometimes, sometimes I wish I took a simpler route/instead of having demons that’s as big as my house.’

Image courtesy of Inside Edition.

The sorrow surrounding Miller’s death is nearly indescribable. The fact that yet another intensely talented mind has been taken away due to drugs is, in short, hurtful. It simultaneously pains the ones closest to him and the fans that never even got a chance to see him live.

It’s difficult not to feel as though Miller’s death is somehow personal. Even as supporters and avid fans of his art, losing Miller feels like the downfall of an old friend. It’s as though Miller was someone we all collectively grew up with. We watched him succeed. We watched him tumble. And just yesterday, we were so pleased with his growth and triumphs. It’s more painful than the average celebrity passing.

Miller was taken away from the world in a rather tragic way. For someone obsessed with going down as a legend, at the very least, we can do him that favor.

Maybe, however, having someone so monumental falling victim to overdosing will finally be the wakeup call the nation desperately needs. Drug addiction is not a simple problem that can be fixed after an intervention and a brief stint in rehab. Such dependency is heavily rooted in mental illness, not to mention being an actual disease itself.

Maybe Miller’s passing will one day be used as a learning lesson. Addiction is not something to be taken lightly, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to cope with such losses, especially those that we looked up to the most. Even so, the deeply rooted anguish behind every R.I.P. tweet and Instagram post continues to exist. At the end of the day, no matter what the circumstances were, losing Miller hurts.