Brooke Nicholson | Arts & Entertainment Editor
On Sept. 7, 2018, shocking news about one of music's most well-known rappers, Mac Miller (Malcolm James McCormick), had passed away from an apparent overdose at just 26 years old. The music industry and fans alike could not begin to understand how this could have happened, and why it continues to plague artists everywhere.
Born on Jan. 19, 1992 in Pittsburgh, PA., Miller was raised in Point Breeze by parents of a Jewish background. He began taking piano lessons at the age of six and eventually wanted to become a singer. But once he hit the age of 15, decided to start a career in rapping. He labeled himself as the "coolest Jewish rapper" in response to Drake's claim of being the "best Jew in the rap game."
Miller released his first mixtape after he joined the rap group The Ill Spoken, "But My Mackin' Ain't Easy" under the name EZ Mac in 2007 at the age of 15. The group released his next mixtape in 2008, "How High," which lead to two more in 2009: "The Jukebox: Prelude to Class Clown" and "The High Life."
After releasing four mixtapes, Miller signed to Rostrum Records in 2009 and made it to the final four in the Rhyme Calisthenics, an MC competition at a lounge. Millers' huge breakthrough came when he embarked on his first tour, selling out at almost every single location, and earning a spot amongst other top rappers.
Miller's fifth mixtape, "Best Day Ever" also came with one of his most well-known singles to date, "Donald Trump," and others such as "All Around the World." In November 2010, Miller's first music video for "Knock Knock" premiered on YouTube, which has gained over 30 million views in eight years.
Soon, Miller would be featured on songs like Maroon 5's "Move Like Jagger" after releasing his first album, "Blue Slide Park." The album debuted at no. 1 on Billboards 200 chart and sold more than 144,000 copies.
October 2013, Miller announced that his next album, "Watching Movies with the Sound Off" would feature artists and other rappers such as SchoolBoy Q, Tyler the Creator and Jay Electronica. By this time, Miller would begin to pop up on TV shows and later star in his own show "Mac Miller and the Most Dope Family" on MTV2.
Miller announced in January 2014 that he would no longer be signed to Rostrum Records, and released his next album "Faces" independently. Later that year, Miller signed with Warner Bros. Records, and released his third studio album in 2015, "GO:OD AM."
Miller would go on to drop two more studio albums in the next couple of years, "The Divine Feminine" and "Swimming," both receiving positive reviews.
Throughout the time Miller was making music, he began using codeine and promethazine (or 'lean') heavily. He later admitted that he became addicted to a mixture of codeine and lean. Miller quit promethazine in November 2012. In January 2013, Miller told Complex magazine that he "Was not happy. I was so fucked up all the time, it was bad."
Things began to descend for Miller in May 2018 when he was arrested for driving under the influence, committing a hit and run and after driving into a power pole. Miller eventually confessed to the crash and was later released on $15,000 bail.
But on the day that he was scheduled for a video shoot on Sept. 7, someone called for an "immediate dispatch" to Miller's studio city home, claiming he was in cardiac arrest from an overdose. Authorities pronounced Miller dead upon arrival and he was later buried in Homewood Cemetery in his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA.
Mac Miller will always be remembered as a guy who worked hard to pursue his dream of working in the music industry and will continue to live on through the music he had made.