Campus fondly remembers Mac Miller

Jackson Mainellis

To the shock and horror of many, rapper Mac Miller tragically passed away on Sept. 7th due to a drug overdose. Born Malcolm McCormick, Miller began rapping when he was 14 up until his death at 26. Along the way, Malcolm became EZ Mac and then settled on Mac Miller for his rap name. Appealing to a younger crowd of middle and high schoolers, Miller had many adoring fans, who were devastated by news of his overdose earlier this month. Miller had often talked about his struggles with drug addiction in his music and in interviews, but had claimed he was finally and completely clean. Unfortunately, Miller has likely suffered a relapse that proved fatal.
To understand the impact of Miller’s passing, I interviewed several students here at Augustana about what the late rapper meant to them. I asked first-year student Jay Emrich-Muise what Miller meant to him and how long he had been listening to him. “I’ve been listening to Mac since his first album, Blue Slide Park, and I think he really helped pave the way for white rappers in general. I don’t think rappers like Post Malone and Lil Xan would be making the waves that they are now without him. He was an icon in his own right and I feel really bad about his passing. He meant a lot to me” Jay said. The inspiration Miller gave to his fans and fellow rappers solidifies his place as an iconic rapper of the current generation. Some current rappers might not have been the grand successes that they are today without Miller.
Sophomore Brandon Johnson also had praise for Miller: “The first time I heard a Mac Miller song was in middle school when he came out with “Donald Trump”one of the best songs I’d ever heard at the time, and [it] just showed you don’t have to be a certain type of person to get into rap and that you can pave your own way.” Miller was able to reach kids and teens who did not necessarily come from the stereotypical “hood” background of many other rappers. Miller’s lyrics involved partying, having a good time, and making something out of nothing. This was a fun, inspiring message for people growing up. Brandon continued, “He was one of the bigger artists of our time, and since then he’s put out great music that has impacted a lot of people, made a difference in a lot of people’s lives. Comparing him to rappers today, I felt he had a more genuine flow. I think his legacy will last for a very long time.” The genuine feel of Miller’s music promotes his honest, simple outlook on life—one of just wanting a good time. Miller’s music makes people happy and tells his self-made story; a story that will remain with his legacy, and will continue to inspire others to pursue their dreams as he did.