By Edmund Zhen
Published: September 26th, 2018
On September 7th, the world grieved over the loss of one of its talented influencers, Malcolm McCormick. In the music industry, he was known as Mac Miller.
Unique, ever-changing, and gifted are only words that touch the surface of who he really is. Through the many years of Miller’s influence in the music industry, he inspired, uplifted, and nurtured young minds and turbulent souls with his words. His legacy started at a young age when he discovered his gift in rapping. Adopting the style of frat-rap, he began to travel his hometown of Pittsburgh at the age of 14, and battle against rappers twice his age. Miller is also an autodidact; he taught himself how to play the piano, guitar, drums, and bass.
At the age of 15 under the alias EZ Mac, he released his first mixtape But My Mackin’ Ain’t Easy, and went on to release three more mixtapes after that. This led to his rise to fame when he was signed to Rostrum Records in 2010. From then on, he captivated a large audience of young teens in an era of hip-hop that reflected his message: young, bold, and looking to have fun. His career snowballed and his songs garnered a loyal fan base that helped his first tour sell out in every location. Because of his incredible success, he was nominated for two awards at the Pittsburgh Hip Hop Awards in 2010.
His newfound success led him to create his own record label REMember Music. He went on to release Billboard chart-topping albums such as Pink Slime, Watching Movies with the Sound Off, and Live From Space. This allowed him to go on seven tours and perform in multiple festivals.
From the start, Miller never stopped spreading positivity and joy. The trajectory of his music was undeniably recognized by all to create long-lasting waves that would go on forever.
Following Miller’s death, his family released a statement thanking everyone for their condolences and thoughts. In a statement provided to PEOPLE by Miller’s loved ones, it said, “Malcolm McCormick, known and adored by fans as Mac Miller, has tragically passed away at the age of 26. He was a bright light in this world for his family, friends, and fans. Thank you for your prayers. Please respect our privacy. There are no further details as to the cause of his death at this time.”
Besides Miller’s mourning fans, many famous artists across different genres in the music industry also paid tribute to the Pittsburgh legend. In one of Drake’s concert at Boston’s TD Garden, Drake said, “Tonight, I wanna dedicate this show to my late friend Mac Miller, who was always a kind man to me.” G-Eazy, another renowned rapper, also paid tribute to Miller with a shout-out at one of his concerts as well. “[I]sic Performed Everything Will Be Ok for you tonight and f*****g broke down on stage. Rest peacefully bro, we miss you” One artist even paid tribute in a more permanent way. Rapper Lil Xan revealed his newest tattoo on the top edge of his right eyebrow in honor of Miller. This Latin phrase “Memento Mori.” translates to “Remember that you will die,” a grim reminder to us all that we should live life to the fullest, because we only live once.