A few weeks have gone by since Sept. 7, 2018, when the world heard news of the tragic passing of American rapper, Mac Miller, aged 26 years old. Miller was found dead of an apparent overdose and his family has since come out with a statement, thanking fans for all the love and prayers that have been sent their way, and that they can offer no further details at this time. Fans and celebrities, not only in the music industry but almost any other industry you can think of, have taken to Twitter and Instagram with messages of love along with sharing nostalgic stories about Miller. It is easy to see that this brilliant, young man touched so many lives.
Even if you weren’t a fan of his music, it’s hard not to feel the pain and mourning emanating from the music community. Rappers who looked to Miller for friendship and inspiration were devastated by the loss. Post Malone tweeted, “… you were such an incredible person. You changed so many lives. Had so much love in your heart. You inspired me all throughout high school, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without you. Never a more kind and sincere and beautiful person. I f***** love you mac,” and J. Cole joined in with a, “Rest In Peace to the great soul Mac Miller.” These are just two of the big names in music who are reeling from the news of Miller’s passing. Fans of his posted pictures from concerts and meet and greets alike, speaking on how much they loved him and his music. Rapper Schoolboy Q has put a hold on his latest album in the works, in respect to Miller, saying, “I just don’t feel right putting out an album right now.” Perhaps the most traumatic post came from his ex-girlfriend, Ariana Grande, who posted a beautiful video on Instagram with a heart-rending post speaking on how much she adored and loved him and how she is “so sorry i couldn’t fix or take your pain away. i really wanted to. the kindest, sweetest soul with demons he never deserved. i hope you’re okay now. rest.”
If you are a fan of his, you know that Miller struggled with substance abuse throughout his life. This struggle shows in many of his albums and songs, seen in such like “Come Back to Earth,” in which he sings, “… I just need a way out of my head, I’ll do anything for a way out.” On the other hand, he preaches on positivity in songs like “Self-Care,” where he repeatedly sings, “Hell yeah, we gonna be alright. I got all the time in the world.” It’s songs and lyrics like these that make his passing all the more heartbreaking.
If we are to take anything away from this terrible death, it’s to make sure to check in with your friends and family. Check in on the people you love and make sure they are okay. So many people hide what they are going through and what they are feeling, or battling. It is so easy to hide. Mac Miller is not the first famous name that we’ve heard associated with mental illness, overdoses and/or suicide. Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain were both found dead of suicide in the last year, days apart. Demi Lovato was hospitalized this past summer due to a heroin overdose. One thing to come out of these tragic events is the conversation about mental illness that follows. Suicide and drug overdose are not topics to be ashamed of or scared to talk about, and the conversation about them needs to continue longer than three days after news of a famous person’s passing due to one.
Mac Miller was brilliant and has made a strong, lasting impression on his millions of fans. His death will not be accepted easily, and I’m sure generations to follow will continue to listen to his amazing music.
National Drug Helpline: 1-866-236-1651
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Siena Public Safety Emergency Line: 518-783-2999