As most of you know by now, Mac Miller has passed away on 9/7/18 at age 26. The reports say it was from an apparent overdose but I don’t think anything was confirmed. As death does for most, we embark on the journey that made Mac Miller an essential part of the hip-hop community.
At a time when hip-hop was prominently dominated by black music artists, Mac was one of the first artist of that time period to breakthrough those barriers and make an name for himself in the industry. He was also one of the first artist to make that Wiz Khalifa weed smoking type of music. I guess it’s a Pittsburgh thing, but at the time this sound was original and took off quickly.
In 2010, Mac released his fourth mixtape K.I.D.S and gave us HITS. This tape is what really propelled his career into a new level. It featured songs like “Senior Skip Day“, “Knock Knock“, “Kool Aid & Frozen Pizza“, and “Nikes On My Feet“. These were some of the biggest songs out during the entire year. And just like that the hip-hop culture began to shift.
Instead of the hardcore gangster rap that dominated most of the hip-hop scene for nearly the entire decade, a new style was formed. White rappers began making a name for themselves and the hip-hop market began evolving. Hip-hop began reaching out to white suburban communities and only grew from there. After the emergence of Mac, other white artist like Chris Webby, Sammy Adams, Mike Stud , and Asher Roth began making a name for themselves and this whole “frat rap” culture.
Once Mac Miller had made a name in the game, in 2011 he released on of his most iconic projects being Best Day Ever. This mixtape featured his biggest song yet “Donald Trump” which took the world by storm. (Ironically Trump is president and lives up to the hype of the song 7 years after). This song went on to make Billboard’s Hot 100 and eventually became a platinum record. Before streaming became a thing this was a very impressive statistic for song coming off a mixtape. From there he released his first album Blue Slide Park and it peaked at #1 on Billboard with 145,000 first week sales. For someone that was coming from making mixtapes in Pittsburgh to having the #1 album(with a small record label), that accomplishment can not be forgotten. Especially before the streaming era.
This goes to show the culture he influenced and how important he was to rap. His style was unique and he bought in a whole new concept of hip-hop. Whether it was the music or the culture, Mac will forever be a part of the history.
Rest In Peace. Thank you!