2018 Artist of the Year: Mac Miller

Story posted December 31, 2018 in Arts & Entertainment, CommRadio by Zach Hall

Mac Miller was someone who loved nothing more than to create and be surrounded by people he cared about. The rapper/producer passed away back in early September due to an overdose. The unexpected tragedy hit just weeks after the release of Mac’s fifth studio album, Swimming. The album was both reflective and a defiant step forward for Mac in his quest to be happy. Miller suffered from abuse issues and depression for quite some time, making the timing of his last project all the more heartbreaking. Miller urged fans shortly after the release of Swimming that he was in a good head space, making it unlikely that Millers overdose was a suicide. The lead-up to Mac Miller’s latest album showed the 26 year old Malcolm Mccormick at his best in years. He was always very passionate about the music and the fans, with one of his last tweets stating “I just wanna go on tour.” Despite Mac Miller’s flaws, he was a kind soul with a plethora of creative ideas who inspired millions across the world.

Over the course of a little over a decade long career, Mac Miller has transformed and evolved his sound immensely. From backpack frat rap in 2009 with Blue Slide Park to introspective jazz infused soul in 2016 with The Divine Feminine, Miller has dipped his toes into a variety of musical outlets. By the release of Swimming, Miller was not only a rapper, but a singer and a producer to boot. He took his time with every project he made to ensure it was the best it could be. Whether it be the drug-induced ramblings of “Angel Dust,” rowdy bangers like “Break The Law,” or heartfelt reflections like “PA Nights” or “2009,” Miller showcased a ton of variety. Such a musical evolution over time is rare to find these days, especially one that is consistent in quality. Miller continuously improved upon each aspect of his music during his career.

Following the news of Mac Miller’s untimely passing, social media was engulfed with overwhelming support from friends and fans alike. Miller had immense respect and love from the music community and always gave that same energy back. The amount of support Miller received was truly overwhelming, showing just how much he meant to people. In October 2018, the Mac Miller Circles Fund held a benefit concert titled Mac Miller: A Celebration Of Life. Some artists attending included Chance The Rapper, Thundercat and SchoolBoy Q to name a few, all of whom were close to Mac. Miller was an incredibly talented musician with so much more to give the world.

Miller’s lengthy discography paints a vivid picture of a damaged man wrestling with his demons trying to love himself and be happy. Swimming shows that he was closer than ever to achieving that goal.

Mac Miller will forever live through his music, and will truly never be forgotten.

R.I.P Malcolm James McCormick   


Zach Hall is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email zth5043@psu.edu.