Mac Miller

Last updated

Mac Miller
Mac Miller (7) - splash! Festival 20 (2017) (cropped).jpg
Miller performing in February 2017
Born
Malcolm James McCormick

(1992-01-19)January 19, 1992
DiedSeptember 7, 2018(2018-09-07) (aged 26)
Cause of deathAccidental drug overdose
Other names
  • Delusional Thomas
  • Easy Mac
  • Larry Fisherman
  • Larry Lovestein
  • The Velvet Revival
Occupation
  • Rapper
  • songwriter
  • record producer
Years active2007–2018
Musical career
Genres Hip hop
Instruments
  • Vocals
  • drums
  • guitar
  • piano
Labels
Associated acts
Website macmillerswebsite.com

Malcolm James McCormick (January 19, 1992 – September 7, 2018), known professionally as Mac Miller, was an American rapper, songwriter, and record producer. Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Miller began his career in the city's hip hop scene in 2007, at the age of fifteen. In 2010, he signed a record deal with Pittsburgh-based independent label Rostrum Records, with whom he had his breakthrough with the mixtapes K.I.D.S. (2010) and Best Day Ever (2011).

Hip hop subculture including music, dance and graffiti

Hip hop or hip-hop, is a culture and art movement that began in the Bronx in New York City during the early 1970s. The origin of the word is often disputed. It is also argued as to whether hip hop started in the South or West Bronx. While the term hip hop is often used to refer exclusively to hip hop music, hip hop is characterized by nine elements, of which only four elements are considered essential to understand hip hop musically. The main elements of hip hop consist of four main pillars. Afrika Bambaataa of the hip hop collective Zulu Nation outlined the pillars of hip hop culture, coining the terms: "rapping", a rhythmic vocal rhyming style (orality); DJing, which is making music with record players and DJ mixers ; b-boying/b-girling/breakdancing (movement/dance); and graffiti. Other elements of hip hop subculture and arts movements beyond the main four are: hip hop culture and historical knowledge of the movement (intellectual/philosophical); beatboxing, a percussive vocal style; street entrepreneurship; hip hop language; and hip hop fashion and style, among others. The fifth element, although debated, is commonly considered either street knowledge, hip hop fashion, or beatboxing.

Rostrum Records American independent record label

Rostrum Records is an independent record label, founded in 2003 by Benjy Grinberg in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, now located in Los Angeles, California. Grinberg is president of the label, which currently has eleven artists on its roster: Wiz Khalifa, Mod Sun, The Bird and the Bee, Donora, Lambo Anlo, TeamMate, Mike Taylor, BRÅVES, Juliann Alexander and Boaz. Rostrum Records has sold millions of albums and singles, and Rostrum's artists have been nominated for a combined total of eleven Grammy Awards.

Mixtape compilation of songs recorded onto any audio format

A mixtape is a compilation of music, typically from multiple sources, recorded onto a medium. With origins in the 1980s, the term normally describes a homemade compilation of music onto a cassette tape, CD, or digital playlist. The songs are either ordered sequentially or made into a continuous program by beatmatching the songs and creating seamless transitions at their beginnings and endings with fades or abrupt edits. Essayist Geoffrey O'Brien described this definition of the mixtape as "perhaps the most widely practiced American art form".

Contents

Miller's debut studio album, Blue Slide Park (2011), reached number-one on the US Billboard 200, the first independently distributed album to top the chart since 1995. In 2013, Miller founded his own record label imprint, REMember Music. After his second studio album, Watching Movies with the Sound Off (2013), he left Rostrum and signed with the major label Warner Bros. Records in October 2014. With them, he released three studio albums: GO:OD AM (2015), The Divine Feminine (2016), and Swimming (2018). For Swimming, he was posthumously nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rap Album. He also served as a record producer for various artists, including himself, under the pseudonym Larry Fisherman.

<i>Blue Slide Park</i> 2011 studio album by Mac Miller

Blue Slide Park is the debut studio album by American rapper Mac Miller. It was released on November 8, 2011, by Rostrum Records. In July 2011, the title was announced, having been named after a section of Frick Park in Pittsburgh. The park section is at the corner of Beechwood Blvd and Nicholson Street, which is just two blocks from Taylor Allderdice High School where Miller attended. The album cover was designed by his older brother Miller McCormick and Redtape Design.

The Billboard 200 is a record chart ranking the 200 most popular music albums and EPs in the United States. It is published weekly by Billboard magazine. It is frequently used to convey the popularity of an artist or groups of artists. Often, a recording act will be remembered by its "number ones", those of their albums that outperformed all others during at least one week. The chart grew from a weekly top 10 list in 1956 to become a top 200 in May 1967, and acquired its present title in March 1992. Its previous names include the Billboard Top LPs (1961–72), Billboard Top LPs & Tape (1972–84), Billboard Top 200 Albums (1984–85) and Billboard Top Pop Albums.

<i>Watching Movies with the Sound Off</i> 2013 studio album by Mac Miller

Watching Movies with the Sound Off is the second studio album by American rapper Mac Miller. It was released June 18, 2013, by Rostrum Records. The album continues his changes in his musical sound that he began with the mixtape Macadelic. Mac Miller has described the album as very introspective and very personal. It features guest appearances from Earl Sweatshirt, Ab-Soul, Action Bronson, Schoolboy Q, Jay Electronica and Tyler, the Creator among others. Production was handled primarily by Miller himself among others such as Diplo, Tyler, the Creator, Flying Lotus, The Alchemist, Clams Casino, Earl Sweatshirt, J. Hill, Chuck Inglish and Pharrell Williams.

Miller struggled with substance abuse, which was often referenced in his lyrics. [1] He died of an overdose caused by a "mixed drug toxicity" of fentanyl, alcohol, and cocaine on September 8, 2018 at the age of 26. [2]

Substance abuse a patterned use of a drug in which the user consumes the psychoactive/chemical substance substances in amounts or with methods which are harmful to themselves or others

Substance abuse, also known as drug abuse, is a patterned use of a drug in which the user consumes the substance in amounts or with methods which are harmful to themselves or others, and is a form of substance-related disorder. Widely differing definitions of drug abuse are used in public health, medical and criminal justice contexts. In some cases criminal or anti-social behaviour occurs when the person is under the influence of a drug, and long term personality changes in individuals may occur as well. In addition to possible physical, social, and psychological harm, use of some drugs may also lead to criminal penalties, although these vary widely depending on the local jurisdiction.

Fentanyl chemical compound

Fentanyl, also spelled fentanil, is an opioid used as a pain medication and together with other medications for anesthesia. Fentanyl is also used as a recreational drug, often mixed with heroin or cocaine. It has a rapid onset and effects generally last less than two hours. Medically, fentanyl is used by injection, as a patch on the skin, as a nasal spray, or in the mouth.

Alcohol (drug) active ingredient in alcoholic beverages

Alcohol, also known by its chemical name ethanol, is a psychoactive substance that is the active ingredient in drinks such as beer, wine, and distilled spirits. It is one of the oldest and most common recreational substances, causing the characteristic effects of alcohol intoxication ("drunkenness"). Among other effects, alcohol produces a mood lift and euphoria, decreased anxiety, increased sociability, sedation, impairment of cognitive, memory, motor, and sensory function, and generalized depression of central nervous system function. Ethanol is a type of chemical compound known as an alcohol, and is the only type of alcohol that is found in alcoholic beverages or is commonly used for recreational purposes; other alcohols such as methanol and isopropyl alcohol are toxic.

Life and career

1992–2010: Early life and career beginnings

Malcolm James McCormick was born on January 19, 1992, [3] in Point Breeze, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. [4] He was a son of Karen Meyers, a photographer, and Mark McCormick, an architect, [5] and had an older brother, Miller. [6] His mother is Jewish, and his father is Christian. [7] While he and his brother were raised Jewish, [4] [8] he attended a Catholic grade school to "ensure a good education and a chance to play football and lacrosse." [4] He later went to Winchester Thurston School, [9] and graduated from Taylor Allderdice High School. [10]

Christians people who adhere to Christianity

Christians are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. The words Christ and Christian derive from the Koine Greek title Christós (Χριστός), a translation of the Biblical Hebrew term mashiach (מָשִׁיחַ).

American football Team field sport

American football, referred to as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field with goalposts at each end. The offense, which is the team controlling the oval-shaped football, attempts to advance down the field by running with or passing the ball, while the defense, which is the team without control of the ball, aims to stop the offense's advance and aims to take control of the ball for themselves. The offense must advance at least ten yards in four downs, or plays, and otherwise they turn over the football to the defense; if the offense succeeds in advancing ten yards or more, they are given a new set of four downs. Points are primarily scored by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone for a touchdown or kicking the ball through the opponent's goalposts for a field goal. The team with the most points at the end of a game wins.

Lacrosse team sport

Lacrosse is a team sport played with a lacrosse stick and a lacrosse ball. Players use the head of the lacrosse stick to carry, pass, catch, and shoot the ball into the goal.

A self-taught musician, Miller played piano, guitar, drums, and bass by the age of six. [10] [11] He first started rapping at the age of fourteen. [12] Before that, he wanted to be a singer. [13] In high school, he decided to focus on his hip hop career, later noting, "Once I hit 15, I got real serious about it and it changed my life completely ... I used to be into sports, play all the sports, go to all the high school parties. But once I found out hip-hop is almost like a job, that's all I did." [11] He originally went by the name Easy Mac and released the mixtape But My Mackin' Ain't Easy in 2007 at the age of fifteen. [3] By 2009, he established himself as Mac Miller, and released two mixtapes: The Jukebox: Prelude to Class Clown and The High Life. [3] At the 2010 Pittsburgh Hip Hop Awards, Miller won 21 & Under of the Year, and Best Hip Hop Video for "Live Free". [14]

2010–2013: Breakthrough and Blue Slide Park

Miller performing at the NYC Governor's Ball in 2011. Mac Miller Governors Ball 2011.jpg
Miller performing at the NYC Governor's Ball in 2011.

Miller signed with the independent label Rostrum Records in July 2010, in the lead-up to his mixtape K.I.D.S. [15] Rostrum president Benjy Grinberg met Miller while recording with Wiz Khalifa at ID Labs. [16] Although Grinberg started giving Miller advice, he did not show interest in getting involved with his career until Miller began work on K.I.D.S., when he "noticed a maturation in his sound and approach to his music." [16] By that point Miller had started attracting interest from other record companies, but chose Rostrum due to its location in his hometown and association with Wiz Khalifa. [16] K.I.D.S. was released by Rostrum in August 2010. [11] During this time, Miller broke through with a focus on social media engagement, digital sales, and persistent touring, due to a lack of radio airplay or mainstream features. [17]

<i>K.I.D.S.</i> (album) 2010 mixtape by Mac Miller

K.I.D.S. is the fourth mixtape by American rapper Mac Miller. It was released by Rostrum Records on August 13, 2010. Since its release, it has received over 1.1 million downloads and 1.5 million streams from its official host, DatPiff. The title is a play on words, as an acronym for "Kickin' Incredibly Dope Shit" and a reference to the 1995 film Kids, which is quoted throughout the mixtape.

Wiz Khalifa American rapper and actor from Pennsylvania

Cameron Jibril Thomaz, known professionally as Wiz Khalifa, is an American rapper, singer, songwriter and actor. He released his debut album, Show and Prove, in 2006, and signed to Warner Bros. Records in 2007. His Eurodance-influenced single, "Say Yeah", received urban radio airplay, charting on the Rhythmic Top 40 and Hot Rap Tracks charts in 2008.

Opened in 2003, ID Labs is a commercial recording studio and production facility owned and operated by Pittsburgh based recording engineer, mixer and producer Eric “E.” Dan. Most known for his extensive work with hip-hop artists Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller, Dan has recorded, mixed and/or produced several Gold and Platinum certified releases throughout his 20 year career in the music business

In February 2011, Miller was one of eleven rappers featured in XXL 's annual "Freshman Class" list of that year. [18] [19] In March 2011, Miller released his fifth mixtape, Best Day Ever . [20] The single "Donald Trump" became his first song to chart on the US Billboard Hot 100, [21] peaking at number 75, [22] and received a platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). [23] Also in March 2011, he released a six-track EP, On and On and Beyond , which became his first entry into the US Billboard 200 albums chart at number 55. [24] In October 2011, Miller released a 13-song mixtape, I Love Life, Thank You .

Miller's debut studio album, Blue Slide Park , released on November 8, 2011. [25] With 144,000 first week sales, it debuted atop the Billboard 200, the first independently distributed album to do so since Tha Dogg Pound's 1995 Dogg Food . [26] Three songs from the album, "Smile Back", "Frick Park Market", and "Party on Fifth Ave." charted on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 55, 60, and 64, respectively. [22] Blue Slide Park was certified gold in the United States and Canada. [27] [28]

On March 23, 2012, Miller released his seventh mixtape, Macadelic . [29] Its single, "Loud", peaked at number 53 on the Billboard Hot 100. [22] In mid-2012, Miller premiered two songs produced by Pharrell Williams, from a planned collaboration EP, Pink Slime. [30] At least ten tracks were completed by August 2012 according to Miller, [30] but the project was not released despite a multi-year effort. [31] [32] Miller released an EP, You, under the alias Larry Lovestein & The Velvet Revival on November 21, 2012. Rather than rap, the EP features Miller crooning over lounging jazz instrumentals. [33]

Miller on The Space Migration Tour in October 2013 The Space Migration Tour London Music - Mac Miller.jpg
Miller on The Space Migration Tour in October 2013

In early 2013, Miller founded the record label imprint REMember Music, named after a friend who died. [34] [35] Miller was featured on a six-episode reality series, Mac Miller and the Most Dope Family , on MTV2. It followed the production of his upcoming second studio album, Watching Movies with the Sound Off , and premiered on February 26, 2013. [36] On March 4, 2013, Miller released a mixtape, Run-On Sentences Vol. 1, solely featuring instrumentals made by himself, under his production alias Larry Fisherman. [37] Later that month, Miller featured on actress and singer Ariana Grande's lead single "The Way" for her debut album Yours Truly ; [38] the song is Miller's highest peak on the Billboard Hot 100 at number nine, and was certified triple platinum by the RIAA. [22] [23]

Watching Movies with the Sound Off released on June 18, 2013, to generally positive reviews, with most critics praising his new psychedelic sound. The album debuted at number three on the Billboard 200, selling 102,000 copies in its first week. [39] The album spawned three singles; "S.D.S.", "Watching Movies" and "Goosebumpz". The album featured guest appearances from Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, Earl Sweatshirt, Tyler, the Creator, Action Bronson and Jay Electronica. [40] [41] According to Miller, the album is "very introspective and very personal so it's kind of throwing it all out there and seeing what happens." [42]

In collaboration with Vince Staples, Miller produced the mixtape Stolen Youth . [43] Under the moniker Delusional Thomas, Miller self-produced and released an eponymous mixtape, Delusional Thomas , on October 31, 2013. [44] On December 17, 2013, Miller released the live album, Live from Space , recorded during his Space Migration Tour. [45]

2014–2018: GO:OD AM, The Divine Feminine, and Swimming

Miller parted ways with Rostrum Records when his contract expired in January 2014. [46] On May 11, 2014, Miller independently released his tenth solo mixtape, Faces . [47] Colin Stutz of Billboard wrote that the 24-track mixtape "shows [Miller] introspective, ruminating over his drug use, fame and past." [47] Pitchfork 's Craig Jenkins called Faces his "most consistently honest and personal work to date". [48] Miller later reflected on Faces, noting his drug-addled lifestyle while recording it. [49] The second season of Miller's reality series Mac Miller and the Most Dope Family aired on MTV2 in mid-2014. [50]

In October 2014, Miller signed a recording contract and distribution deal for REMember Music with the major label, Warner Bros. Records, for a reported US$10 million. [51] Miller's first studio album with Warner Bros., GO:OD AM , was released on September 18, 2015. [52] It debuted at number four on the Billboard 200, with 87,000 album-equivalent units. [53] The album and the single "Weekend", featuring American singer Miguel, were certified gold and platinum by the RIAA, respectively. [23] [54]

Miller performing at the 2017 Splash! festival in Germany. Mac Miller (19) - splash! Festival 20 (2017).jpg
Miller performing at the 2017 Splash! festival in Germany.

Miller began work on his next studio album immediately after completing GO:OD AM, wanting to explore the emotion of love. [55] [56] The Divine Feminine released on September 16, 2016. [57] The album features Miller singing nearly as much as rapping, and incorporates genres such as R&B, jazz and funk. [56] It received positive reviews, with Pitchfork stating that the album was succinct and refined in its portrayal of love, consequently accentuating Miller's artistry. [58] The Divine Feminine debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 and number one on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart with 48,000 units. [59] [60]

Miller's fifth studio album, Swimming , was released on August 3, 2018, to positive reviews from critics. [61] Pitchfork described the album as consisting of "wistful soul and warm funk", through his exploration of heartbreak and his own mental health issues. [62] Swimming debuted at number three on the Billboard 200 with 66,000 units, his fifth consecutive top five-charting album release in the United States. [63] After his death in September 2018, the single "Self Care" rose to number 33 on the Billboard Hot 100, his highest peak as lead artist. [64] Swimming was nominated for Best Rap Album at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards. [65]

Influences

Miller included Big L, Lauryn Hill, Beastie Boys, Outkast, and A Tribe Called Quest among his influences. [66] He had a close relationship with fellow Pittsburgh rapper Wiz Khalifa, saying "Wiz has been a big brother to me with this music thing so far. Our relationship is beyond music. He really is just my homie, whether I will be making music or not." [7]

Personal life

Miller spoke openly about his struggle with substance abuse and depression. [1] To manage stress during his Macadelic Tour in 2012, Miller began taking promethazine, and later became addicted to purple drank, also known as "lean". Miller told Complex in January 2013: "I love lean; it's great. I was not happy and I was on lean very heavy. I was so fucked up all the time it was bad. My friends couldn't even look at me the same. I was lost." [41] He quit taking promethazine in November 2012, before shooting his reality show Mac Miller and the Most Dope Family. [41] In 2014, Miller was taking drugs daily, and felt that the final track on Faces, "Grand Finale", was "supposed to be the last song [he] made on Earth." Recounting that period to Billboard in August 2015, Miller was "definitely way healthier" but not "completely" sober. [67] After stating he "hated" being sober in a February 2016 documentary, [1] Miller had become sober for three months by October 2016, noting his better mood and maintained creativity. [68] However, when asked about his sobriety in April 2017, Miller said he was now "living regularly". [69]

Miller was in an on-again, off-again relationship with Nomi Leasure, whom he met in middle school, for seven years until 2016. [67] [70] [71] Many of the songs on his mixtape Macadelic were about their relationship. [70] Miller dated singer Ariana Grande from August 2016 to May 2018. [72]

In February 2011, while on tour in upstate New York, Miller and his friends were arrested for possession of marijuana for which they had to spend the night in jail. Miller said the case was "settled". [73]

Producer Lord Finesse filed a $10 million lawsuit against Miller, Rostrum Records and DatPiff on July 9, 2012, for the use of a sample of Finesse's song "Hip 2 Da Game" used in Miller's 2010 mixtape song "Kool-Aid and Frozen Pizza". [74] In December 2012, the lawsuit was settled out of court with its stipulations kept confidential. [75]

In March 2015, the band Aquarian Dream filed a $150,000 lawsuit against Miller for sampling the band's song "Yesterday (Was so Nice Today)" in the song "Therapy" on his 2014 mixtape Faces. [76]

Miller was arrested in May 2018 on charges of driving under the influence and hit and run after allegedly crashing into and knocking down a power pole and fleeing the scene with two passengers. Police arrived at the scene, ran Miller's license plate number, and obtained his address. Miller confessed to the crash when police arrived at his home. Miller was taken into custody and released on $15,000 bail. [77] In August 2018, Miller was charged with two counts of driving under the influence for the incident. [78]

Death

On September 7, 2018, Miller was found unresponsive in his Studio City home by his personal assistant, who called 911 and performed CPR until paramedics arrived. Miller was pronounced dead at the scene at 11:51 a.m. (PDT), from a suspected drug overdose. [79] [80] He had been scheduled for a video shoot on the day of his death. [81] Miller was buried at Homewood Cemetery in his hometown of Pittsburgh, in a Jewish funeral. [82] On November 5, 2018, the Los Angeles County Coroner's office determined that Miller died from an accidental drug overdose due to a "mixed drug toxicity" of fentanyl, alcohol, and cocaine. [2]

In his will, Miller named his mother, father, and brother as beneficiaries. [83] On September 11, 2018, thousands of fans held a vigil in Miller's honor at Pittsburgh's Blue Slide Park, in respect to his 2011 debut album of the same name. [84] A tribute concert, Mac Miller: A Celebration of Life, was held on October 31, 2018, in Los Angeles. Many of his friends and collaborators performed or provided messages at the concert; proceeds raised benefited the newly-established Mac Miller Circles Fund, which aims to support youth arts and community-building programs in his memory. [85] The charity had raised over $700,000 by January 2019. [86]

Discography

Studio albums

Filmography

Film and television roles
YearTitleRoleNotesRef.
2011 Single Ladies Himself2 episodes [20]
2012 Punk'd HimselfEpisode: "Mac Miller" [87]
2013, 2015 Ridiculousness Himself2 episodes [88] [89]
2013–2014 Mac Miller and the Most Dope Family Himself [90]
2013 Scary Movie 5 D'AndreFilm [91]
2014 Loiter Squad DaveEpisode: "Stone Cold Stunner" [92]

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