Rapper Mac Miller passes away at 26

Connor Wells, Staff Writer

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Over the past few months, several notable celebrities have passed away. This includes stars such as Stephen Karl of the children’s show Lazy Town, war hero and politician John McCain, and celebrated actor Burt Reynolds. In the music world, one death particularly resonated with youth culture, the late rapper Mac Miller. Mac Miller died of a suspected overdose on September 7th, 2018.  He was found in his home, unresponsive, and declared dead upon the arrival of paramedics.

A little more than a month earlier, Mac Miller released his 5th studio album, Swimming, which was met with positive reviews from fans and critics alike. The album came at a time in the rapper’s life after his very public break from pop star Ariana Grande, which many saw as a contributing factor to his turn to drug use. Mac Miller was seen as a tabloid headline during this time, and Swimming reminded the world of him as an individual rather than a pop stars ex. Similar to the effect seen on other late rapper XXXtentacion’s music, his death contributed to a large resurgence in streams and popularity of his music. As of now, Swimming has hit No.1 on Apple music’s top charts. The songs “Self Care” and “Donald Trump” have boosts in streams of 3.34 million and 2.07 million respectively. Keep in mind that “Donald Trump” was released in 2011. The five most boosted songs in his discography represent a wide sample of his work, two from his latest album, two from his 2011 project Best Day Ever, and one from his third album “GO:OD AM”.

As customary in the deaths of celebrities, many of their peers and fans offer sympathies over social media platforms like Twitter. Similar to the death of XXXtentacion, there is conflict in the sympathies expressed. But difference lies in what the conflict is about. Rather than being about the controversy surrounding the rapper, the diehard Mac Miller fans are angry he didn’t get the respect and numbers he’s accumulating now while he was still alive. They seem to almost claim supremacy on the issue, with many upset at the many who seemed to have jumped at the opportunity to ride the popular wave of sympathy, the same people who Ignored Miller while he was alive. Despite the conflict, Mac Miller’s death was a significant contemporary cultural moment, and the sentiments expressed in the fans shows the true loss in a young artist’s life cut short.



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Rapper Mac Miller passes away at 26