Mac Miller’s Music Legacy: 5 Favorite Tracks

Mac Miller, born Malcolm James McCormick, died at the age of 26 on September 7, 2018. So far, the death has been reported as an overdose. This comes as a shock to fans. From the last we heard from Miller, he was doing better. In this interview with the Rolling Stone last month, Miller states that just because he had a past history with drug use it didn’t mean he was still “going through it”. The interview was published on August 3, the same date his fifth and last album, Swimming was released.

In memorial, here are five great songs I think you’ll enjoy.

1) Knock Knock

“Knock,Knock” is Miller’s first hit single off of his “K.I.D.S” mixtape. Other songs on the tape like “Nikes on my feet” and “Senior Skip Day” were also well-known favorites. The song, like most of Miller’s earlier music is a representation of his ordinary teenage lifestyle turned to fame. It has an upbeat tone and it’s great to dance to!

2) Happy Birthday


This track is off Miller’s 2014 mixtape, “Faces”. This track shows us the reality of the hip-hop lifestyle glamorized in rap music. The song seems to center around his birthday, metaphorical or not, where everyone is only there for the party and doesn’t seem to care about him;

“There’s a birthday party happening upstairs (Where?)/And it’s all for me, who the fuck cares? (Fuck it)/They don’t notice if I never go and show my face (Face) /They just looking for a reason they can celebrate (That’s okay)”

“Faces” touches a lot on Miller’s drug abuse and depression with other tracks such as ” Angel dust” and “Funeral”, the entire mixtape has a morbid vibe.

3) Thoughts From a Balcony

From Miller’s seventh mixtape, “Thoughts From a Balcony” expresses Miller’s uncertainty for the future and his dreams. The hook in this song is catchy and philosophical: “They just dreams, turn ’em to reality/Double-cup of lean, standing on my balcony/Looking at the sky, thinking it could all be mine/All we got is memories, so what the fuck is time?”

4) Cinderella 


Miller’s 2016 studio album, ” The Divine Feminine” was a turning point in his style. In an interview with Vogue after the album release, Miller was proudly sober and in love with Ariana Grande. He admitted that he was sick of writing about the same old stuff and that’s what triggered the sudden lyrical change on the album. “Cinderella” featuring Ty Dolla $ign is a vulnerable track with a soft, hypnotizing sound.

5) Self Care

This track is from Miller’s fifth and final album, ” Swimming” released in August 2018. It is ambient and uplifting with a solid beat — like most of Miller’s other songs. Many listeners believe the song touches on his breakup with Ariana Grande, but it most definitely references the DUI he got back in May. 

The lyrics: “That Mercedes drove me crazy, I was speedin’/Somebody save me from myself, yeah”, recount the accident in which Miller’s Mercedes Benz G-Wagon struck a light pole and took it down.

The song reflects on his public image after both the breakup and the DUI; in turn, Miller resorts to treating himself right which can also be concluded from the same Rolling Stone interview mentioned earlier. Miller mentions being in a “good state of mind” and working out every morning.

Rest in peace Mac Miller. You will be missed.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with substance abuse, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. In Canada, Naloxone kits are readily available at pharmacies and some services will provide free training. In the event of an overdose, always call emergency services/ 9-1-1.

Image via Brick Stowell

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