Mac Miller’s posthumous legacy

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Kaelyn Savard

From rebellious teen to Billboard 200 chart musician, Mac Miller’s legacy will always live on through his songs, and the powerful impact he had on his adolescent listeners, who believed that his words expressed exactly how they were feeling during the highs and lows of their teenage years.

Ashley Newman, Columnist

Malcolm McCormick, widely known as Mac Miller, was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The very musically inclined Miller taught himself to play several instruments from the time he was six years old on through the rest of his life. In his teenage years, he was rebellious, with big dreams. He wanted to make music to inspire and resonate with all types of people, “my overall goal is to be able to speak and connect with the world,” said Miller. His dream came to life when he signed a record deal with Rostrum Records and everything began to fall into place for him. 

Miller first found his sound after his album K.I.D.S. was released in August 2010. The album feels very reminiscent of a teenage life filled with fun and crazy good times. Miller continued to grow when his MTV Reality Show, Mac Miller and the Most Dope Family aired in 2013. It was filled with Miller’s adventures with his friends and time spent being his authentic self. As Miller’s fame began to grow more rapidly he released more groundbreaking albums. His album The Divine Feminine reached number two on the Billboard 200 in 2016 and featured his girlfriend, Ariana Grande in “My Favorite Part.” Their relationship was very open and obvious to the public and helped to increase Miller’s fame. It also allowed him to reach a wider audience as he acquired many of Grande’s fans as his own. The two sadly ended up breaking up in 2018. Around this time Mac released his album Swimming and it reached number three on the Billboard 200 chart in August of that same year. Shortly after the album was released, Miller passed away at the age of 26 due to an accidental drug overdose. His memory lives on and so does his music, his album Circles was released in January 2020 and has remained on the Billboard 200 for a full year. 

Circles has reached a wide audience just the way Mac intended. Teenagers of different backgrounds can relate to his music and hold the songs close to their hearts because the lyrics reflect exactly what they are going through. When the lyrics are sung it provides reassurance through the “he sings what I feel” mentality. Roman Goss ‘22 says, “my friends and I all got into his music and we played it constantly […] His music was the soundtrack of many good summers and helped me get happy when I was anything but that.” 

The narratives throughout each of Miller’s albums seem to reflect his life as he grows up with each album representing a new stage. Athina Ananias ‘22 states that “throughout each of his albums, they all represent leaving childhood and growing up.” K.I.D.S. shows him as an adolescent all the way through his teenage years. Blue Slide Park, Macadelic, and Watching Movies with the Sound Off follow him through the end of childhood and the beginning of adulthood. His last few albums; GO:OD AM, Best Day Ever, The Divine Feminine, Swimming and Circles display him as his grown-up self as he navigates the trials of adulthood. 

Miller’s ability to reach millions and touch so many lives is evident on Foothill Technology High School’s campus. Ananias, Goss and Delaney Grant ‘22 are all avid Mac Miller fans and agree that he’s shaped their lives in influential ways. “I think he was different in the way that he didn’t care about the money as much as most people do in the rap/music industry,” Grant says. Miller cared more about people and touching lives. Miller has been able to make many teenagers feel that they are not alone through the extremely trying process of growing up. “His songs can match your emotions no matter if they’re highs or lows, and I feel like not a lot of artists do that these days,” Ananias shares. 

Miller’s music will live on and continue to inspire many more people by making them feel like they have a place and that they’re never alone in what they are going through. Although he’s no longer with us, his lyrics will inspire generations to come.

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