Just over a month after his latest album, Swimming, was released, Mac Miller, the 26-year-old rapper from Pittsburg, was pronounced dead from an apparent drug overdose in his California home.
This overdose was not Miller’s first struggle with drug usage. After the release of his first studio album, Blue Side Park, in 2011, the intense criticism he and his music received drove him to begin using a sedative and antipsychotic drug called promethazine, better known as lean. During an interview with Complex, Miller revealed that he ‘was lost’ when he was on lean.
However, Miller was able to pull himself off of the drug before the airing of his show on MTV2, Mac Miller and the Most Dope Family. Miller’s motivation for quitting the drug was his physical appearance- he claimed that when he was on the drug, he was gaining weight, and didn’t want to look like that while on national television. Miller told Vice’s music Chanel, Noisey, that all though he loved doing lean, he felt better not doing it every single day.
In the same interview, Miller acknowledged that he was aware that he knew how dangerous drugs were, but that he still considered them awesome, and said he’s been doing drugs since the age of 15. Although things looked brighter for Miller after becoming less reliant on lean in 2012, the rapper released an independent called Faces, in 2014 that revealed he was still heavily reliant on drugs. Almost a year later in 2015, Miller did an interview with Billboard in which he revealed that while he was not completely sober, he had eased off drugs enough to get to a place in which he felt good about himself.
From August of 2016- May of this year, Miller was in a serious relationship with pop singer Ariana Grande. These years seemed to be his most unproblematic of times, and in 2016, he released his fourth studio album, The Divine Feminine. However, following his break up with Grande this past spring, Miller got into a serious hit and run car crash, while driving under the influence. It was reported that Miller’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was 0.15 when he was later arrested that night in his home.
Putting this album out is such a beautiful feeling. I just want to take a moment to thank you for lending me an ear. Music is such a special thing and moments like these never cease to amaze me. I hope you find something in these songs just as I found something making them.
— Mac (@MacMiller) August 7, 2018
Many of his fans feared that this D.U.I. charge would be the beginning of Miller slipping back into his old habits. However, Miller appeared to be doing better- he was working out every day, as he told Rolling Stones, and released his fifth studio album, Swimming, in August. Miller was getting ready for a tour that would start later next month in San Francisco.
Mac Miller is another artist that fell victim to the ruthless trauma of addiction. After years of what can only be considered daunting battles for sobriety, we hope he finds his peace, and that his music continues to carry out his legacy.
Featured Image by Brick Stowell