======= ======= ====== ====== ====== ===== ==== ====== ====== ===== ==== ======= ======= ====== ====== ====== ===== ==== ====== ====== ===== ====
Last week we lost a good one. On September 7th, Mac Miller died of an apparent overdose. Normally I don’t really bat an eye when a drug-related celebrity death pops up in the news because it has just become an all-too-common occurrence today (which, as I write these words, I realize is a depressing state of reality to live in). In fact, when my buddy texted the group chat with the news, all I could respond with was, “Probably drugs.” I wish I was wrong, and I wish it wasn’t so easy for me to write something off like that because it is a tragedy. But at the time, that was all I could muster. I didn’t want to believe it, but I wasn’t in the least bit surprised that another celebrity had an addiction swallow them up but not spit them back out. And now he is gone.
Like many of you out there, Mac Miller, Cam Rellim, Macadelic, or whatever you knew him by had a huge spot in my heart. It was almost automatic whenever I grabbed the aux cord from the years 2011-2013 I was putting on something from Mac. Ask any of my buddies back in college. If Cush was in the DJ booth, it was either Chiddy Bang or Mac Miller. Countless nights were spent running pong tables with Blue Slide Park bumping through the speakers at 134 College Ave. Many study sessions involved a heavy dose of Mac’s voice filling my Skullcandys in the 2nd floor of Fogler library. My one and only little brother in the fraternity connected with me thanks to our love of Halo and the smash hit “Donald Trump.” We’d spend hours shooting each other in the face as Mac played in the background. The song I put on to test my first set of after-market speakers was “Loud.” To say Mac defined my taste in hip-hop music is an understatement. And now he is gone.
At his peak, there wasn’t a dude on earth I would have rather been. I mean, maybe LeBron James. But LeBron never dated Ariana Grande, so I’d still give the edge to Mac Miller. What made him so likable wasn’t that he was massively successful or that he was dating an absolute bombshell. It was because he was genuine. His music was real. Mac never fronted as a thug or some hard-nosed gangbanger. He knew he was just a white-ass dude from Pittsburgh who loved hip-hop and loved life. His passion for both of those came through in every track he put out. He may have been a couple years younger than me, but I looked up to him. Mac had the world at his fingertips by the age of 20 and was destined for great things for years to come. And now he is gone.
I won’t sit here and pretend to know what it’s like to be rich and famous. I could scream from my soapbox that these celebrities are fucked in the head because of all the opportunities they have and that’s why we see so many of them ruining their lives with drugs. While to an extent that may be true, addiction is a disease. Mac’s struggle with drugs was well-documented. For as much as the dude loved the world, there was clearly a struggle going on inside of him. And now he is gone.
Mac Miller’s death hit closer to me than any celebrity death has in the past. The news hit me with a powerful combination of nostalgia and the realization of just how prevalent mental illness is. Addiction is no joke. Mental illness is no joke. And if you are out there and need someone to talk to, reach out. Don’t turn to self-medication, because the track record of success in that case is non-existent.
Mac may be gone, but his music lives on. May his struggle be a warning and his music be an inspiration. Today, and every day after, I will live my life by these words.
No matter where life takes me, find me with a smile
Pursuit to be happy, only laughing like a child
I never thought life would be this sweet
It got me cheesing from cheek to cheek
And I ain’t gonna wait for nothing cause that just ain’t my style
Life couldn’t get better, this gon’ be the best day ever.
Rest in peace, Mac. You will be missed..
Image via Wikimedia Commons