by: Patrick Fuller ’21 A&E Co-Editor
On Friday, September 7, music added another name to an already lengthy list of unfortunate deaths. Mac Miller, who was only 26-years-old, was found dead of a suspected overdose in his Studio City home. The unexpected news came just a month after the artist released Swimming, his latest album.
The Pittsburgh-born rapper began his career making and selling mixtapes in high school. Before long, Miller signed a four-year contract with Rostrum Records, setting the tone with “K.I.D.S.” According to the New Yorker, the rapper’s first studio album, Blue Slide Park (2011), became the first independent album to debut at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 since 1995.
Beyond Miller’s intimate lyrics and distinct sound, he was also notoriously kind. Ed Sheeran posted on Instagram: “This really just saddened me. I hung out with Mac a few times over the years and he was always such a sweetheart, always had the time of day for anyone, whoever they were. As well as being a great talent, he was a great human.”
Drake dedicated his Sept. 8 performance of “Emotionless” to the late rapper while Childish Gambino honored Miller at his Chicago concert on the same date. In Rolling Stone, Donald Glover reflected, “He was the sweetest guy. And we should be allowed to be sad about it. Like my heart was broken… and I feel good about being sad, because it tells me that he was special, that I had a special moment… Everybody in this room deserves that.”
The rapper’s death follows the passing of XXXTENTACION and Demi Lovato’s recent overdose. Despite glorification of rap music, drugs and street violence are realities which need to be acknowledged and dealt with accordingly, no matter the social status of the person involved. Fame does not eliminate struggle, but rather, it masks adversity with luxury.