Mac Miller: A life cut short


Lucas Jablonski, Staff Writer

Mac Miller, a poet, a lyricist, a man struggling with addiction.  It’s been five years since Malcolm Mccormick, known by his stage name Mac Miller, lost his battle to an opioid addiction that spanned seven years of his career.  In that time numerous musicians and celebrities (Wiz Khalifa, Ariana Grande, Travis Scott) have praised his music from a career cut short.  This is a review of two drastically different albums in his iconic discography.

K.I.D.S, released in 2010 as one of Miller’s first produced albums, shows his rapping roots, and the immaturity that he displayed at the beginning of his career.  In the case of K.I.D.S,  one part of this album can speak for the whole.  The Spins, the sixth song on the track, shows what Mac held dear in life as an 18 year old living in Cleveland: money, drugs, and women.  He raps, “Wanna get a mansion/A jacuzzi, a theater to watch my movies/A couple whips and lots of fancy things…She in love with a rock star, rock star wanna smoke”  The majority of this album is spent on vulgar subject matter, typical of an 18 year old caught up in a rapper’s world.  This album, however, provides a stark contrast to an album released eight years later by Miller which focuses on his inner self. 

Swimming, released in 2018 a little over a month before his death, this soulful, passionate collection shows Mac’s evolving style and the struggles he faced.  This album featured the songs “Jet Fuel”, “2009”, and “Dunno” among others and ranged from themes of elation to those of depression.  “Jet Fuel” is one of the more upbeat songs on the track as it describes Mac’s rise to fame and the high he feels from fame.  Mac Miller sings, “Y’all can’t tell me nothing no more/ Came from the basement under that floor…Now I’m in the clouds, come down when I run out of jet fuel/But I never run out of jet fuel.” This song provides a sharp contrast to one of his others, “Dunno”, in which he depicts his split with former girlfriend Ariana Grande.  Through the lyrics, he sings, “Ooh, I wanna feel just how you feel/Touch it one more time so I know you’re real/We could spin that wheel, wouldn’t you rather get along?”  Through the moving tones and lyrical melodies, Miller produces a song that makes even a casual listener feel an emotional connection.

From his beginnings as a frat rapper to his more original compositions, Mac Miller was an artist ahead of his time.  Who can know what more he could’ve done if he had stayed.