Mac, We Miss You

I was 12 years old when Mac Miller’s K.I.D.S came out and 13 when Blue Slide Park changed everything for me. I was 15 the first time I saw Mac live. This was the first time I hung out with my now long-time best friend. We sang “Smile Back” at the top of our lungs for the rest of the summer. I was 17 when the Divine Feminine came out and things started making sense, and when I was 20, Swimming came out and changed everything all over again. I got a Twitter notification Malcolm McCormick had died of a drug overdose a month later. The next time I went home, my dad already had my K.I.D.S sweatshirt I bought eight years ago waiting for me to take on the kitchen table. “I thought you’d want this.” 

Today marks the anniversary of a devastating day, September 7, 2018. Something I continue to struggle with, something I will probably struggle with forever. And of course, I am not alone in that. I don’t think a day goes by Mac Miller is not missed. On the one-year anniversary of his death, Swimming is a certified Gold album and Grammy nominated, and “Self Care” is a Platinum single. I feel lucky to have that album, and it’s odd to think it’ll be his last. It's the kind of album that makes you wish you had more space on your body so you could tattoo every single lyric on it. 

I am not the type to talk about my feelings. Mac was, and continues to be, one of the many musicians who did it for me. When I think about Mac, I think about my high school soundtrack, my college soundtrack, my summer soundtrack. I’ve dedicated songs to boys who did me good and bad. I’ve cried at 3 a.m. to his lyrics more times than I could count on one hand. One of the artists this generation resonated with the most, oozing of authenticity and positivity, he taught many that life isn’t easy, and that’s okay.

Malcolm McCormick, you will be remembered. You’re part of my coming of age story. You’re part of me until I die. I feel like your lyrics are under my skin, etched in my bones. Today, I will listen to my playlist dedicated to your music to keep you close, as I do almost every other day.  You have touched so many before you even hit 27 (at least you’re not just another name in that club). 

And we do not remember him for his mental illness or addiction, nor do we blame him for these things, but for his huge impact on so many individual lives, as well as shaking the music industry as a whole. And as we learned once again, how important it is to check in on your friends. No matter how strong or put together they seem, be there. Look for the signs. In 2017 alone, over 70,000 people died of drug overdose. 

And you know, I wanted to write this article a year ago, when everything happened. Talk about Malcolm, what he meant to my friends and I, how he made everything different, how he was the soundtrack to my coming-of-age story, but I could never find the right words. And even today, after all this time, I still don’t think my words would ever do him justice. Actually, I started writing this months ago to make sure I had enough time to rewrite, revise and make it as perfect as I could for him. I owe him that. 

All I can really say now is thank you.