It’s been several months since the legendary Mac Miller passed away. I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on who Mac was to me and how he’s impacted my life and for a while now, I’ve wanted to put these thoughts into writing.

My friend Henry first introduced me to Mac Miller’s music. I first remember Party on Fifth Ave and Donald Trump being blasted on a charter bus down to a cross country meet. Soon Mac was just part of the race day playlist. I didn’t listen to him much on my own. But looking back, I think Mac and his music really reflected where I was at in my life. Young, naive, immature, and really still figuring things out. All while having a good time.

I would jam to his feature on The Way with Ariana, but until about junior year of high school, I didn’t really take him seriously.

GO:OD AM was the game changer. I first remember seeing all the tweets from 100 Grandchildren.

“What’s God without a little O.D? Just a G.”

Eventually, I found out what the lyrics were from, and gave the album. I’ll be completely honest, I was hopping on a bandwagon and mainly just played Weekend and 100 Grandchildren on repeat. But I was a fan and I knew all the lyrics after a week or two.

Junior year, Mac released The Divine Feminine. That’s when I knew he was on something different. I remember the night it came out, Fatt Pacc (my group of friends at the Governor’s school) were talking all about it. It wasn’t just a thrown-together rap album, it was a piece of art. From distinct beats to poetic lyrics, Mac put together one of the most unique hip-hop albums of our generation. I started to just put the whole album on shuffle whenever I was going somewhere. My Favorite Part and Cinderella were obvious favorites, but I never skipped past Stay or Soulmate. The album was an experience, an open museum of Mac’s brain, and I loved it.

I was a big fan at this point. Mac’s songs were constantly on the aux, no matter the mood. Headaches + Migraines came out on Soundcloud and it became my “chill” song to listen to. It would be a while before Mac would put out again.

This is also around the time that I realized YouTube was the greatest creation in Earth’s history and would watch Mac’s appearances on radio shows and whatever else. Perhaps my favorite is his Trump piece on the Nightly Show.

If you weren’t aware, Trump sued Mac after his song Donald Trump went platinum over the use of his name. So Mac had a better reason than most for not being the biggest Trump fan. But I think you can also just see how genuine Mac is as a person in the video.

On a bit more serious note is a short documentary on Mac called Stopped Making Excuses. It incredibly shows Mac’s rise to fame and the struggle that came with it. I watched it again recently and it’s difficult to get through. At around the 7:15 mark, Mac discusses his drug problem.

“I’d rather be the corny white rapper than the drugged-out mess who can’t even get out of his house. Overdosing is just not cool; there’s no legendary romance. You don’t go down in history because you overdosed. You just die.”

As I said before, Mac didn’t release anything for a while after the Divine Feminine in 2016. He faded to the backburner of my playlist, and although I’d still throw on his hits from time to time, I was just waiting for some new stuff.

I remember last spring when news broke about Ariana Grande breaking it off with Mac Miller. The media and everyone were very supportive of her and rightfully so. But a lot less concern was focused on Mac’s side of things, and that didn’t really sit with me well. It would be a while before Mac would face the public and did some interviews wishing Ariana the best. I think it’s hard to imagine what he was going through during that time.

After a long summer of my own, Mac released Swimming. “I’m just talking about things that I’m proud of myself for, things I’m afraid of, or things that are just thoughts or emotions,” Mac said of the album. Mac is truly himself on his final album, and I think that’s what makes it stick out. He’s not trying to impress anybody or push messages that he believes in. Each song has a purpose/message, and you don’t get that from a lot of hip-hop albums now. But the overall sentiment of the album is that of healing and growth, and that made a personal connection at that time. My favorite song off of the album is 2009.

Mac would perform some of his songs on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series on YouTube in early August, and the acoustic and live performance is beautiful to watch. He was a pure artistic soul, giving off good vibes to a stranger through a computer screen.

Mac Miller helped me get through a difficult time in my life. He was a friend I didn’t have to meet, spreading a positive spirit through his art. For that, I will always be thankful.

September 7th, I stopped in my tracks. Cody texted Ricky, Noah, and I: “Mac miller just died”. I still find it hard to put into words how I felt that day. I had been planning on going to his concert in DC the coming November, but I think it was more difficult to swallow this loss of someone so genuine and vulnerable. Mac didn’t feel like a celebrity to a lot of people; he was just one of the “homies”. Mac was open about his struggle with addiction, and I really wish we as a society could’ve helped him out more.

The world lost a beautiful soul that day. Mac was willing to show us his struggles and scars through his music. For a lot of us, we grew along with Mac. From the carefree, live-it-up high school days to his more sophisticated, appreciative side, Mac was a part of the journey.

I like to go back and listen to his early stuff that I never really paid attention to. Then throw on some of his hits, or just listen to Swimming all the way through.

To Mac, gone too soon.

Thank you for letting me be a part of the journey.




21 year old trying to share a bit of my story. Big fan of music, shoes, mental health, and bad jokes.

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Jimmy McAvoy

Jimmy McAvoy

21 year old trying to share a bit of my story. Big fan of music, shoes, mental health, and bad jokes.

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