It has been a little over a year since the death of Mac Miller. As a Pittsburgh native, Mac Miller has always been one of my favorite artists and someone to be proud of, so his death hit me harder than most. When something tragic happens, you will always remember where you were and what you were doing. I remember I was actually back home in Pittsburgh for the Pitt vs. Penn State football game that following day. It was around 4 p.m. on Friday, September 7th when I received a text from my boyfriend saying, “Mac Miller died.” I couldn’t believe it. I did not think it was true. The people of Pittsburgh could not believe it happened for weeks afterwards.
Mac Miller was someone who made Pittsburgh proud because when he grew as an artist he did not forget where he came from. He constantly wrote songs about his hometown and gave special shoutouts to Pittsburgh. Doing that made the people of Pittsburgh feel a special connection with him. It has been over a year, and I still continuously listen to the “This is Mac Miller” playlist on Spotify at least once or even twice a week.
Not only did Mac Miller’s death bring me to appreciate his music more, but most importantly, it shed light on a difficult topic of discussion in today’s world. The issues of drug overdoses and the fentanyl epidemic.
Drug overdoses are one of the biggest killers in the United States right now, with over 70,000 people dying each year. Fentanyl is one of the biggest issues, it is being laced into everything, to make the product cheaper and get people high faster. Fentanyl is a powerful, synthetic opioid that is similar to morphine but is 80 to 100 times more potent. Doctors can use this to treat patients in severe pain, but it is highly addictive. When taking fentanyl in high doses, it can cause respiratory distress or even death. The thing that is killing our youth the most today is fentanyl being laced with other drugs. When you are mixing an already potentially potent drug with another potentially potent drugs, an overdose is usually a result of this action.
With overdoses on the rise, especially in Hollywood more awareness to it is being spread. Young adults, and kids are seeing their favorite people and performers disappear before their eyes, and they see the heartbreak that it causes. Even though these tragedies happen; especially with our beloved Mac Miller, we are able to keep his memory alive. We can also raise awareness for a serious cause, such as the drug epidemic that is sweeping over the US.
At the time of his death, Mac Miller was approaching the pinnacle of his career. He had just released an album that strayed away from all his previous work. In an interview, he shared that this was his first album that focused solely on his singing voice instead of the classic rap he was known for. Mac was scared of how people would accept the new wave of music from him, but was confident enough to release it August 2019, just one month before his death.
Mac Miller never let the fame get to his head. He loved his city and always made sure to support it anytime he could. He always had a smile on his face and a laid back, bubbly attitude to match. Even though his drug use was known by many, he never made it seem like it consumed him. He got clean and attended rehab many times. The people who hide their drug addictions with a brave face are, in my opinion, the most tragic.
If you know someone who openly does drugs and does not seek help, you typically don’t feel as bad because they’re making the choice to do that and people assume they’re “throwing their life away.” The people who project themselves to the world as being happy but use their substance behind closed doors are the ones people don’t check up on because they have no idea. This was the situation Mac was in. Even though his end was premature, the impact Mac has left on the world is infinitesimal. The impact he left through his music, words and character, will not be forgotten in this generation, Mac Miller’s legacy will be one carried throughout generations.
Rest in peace to a true Hometown Hero.