One year has passed since death of Mac Miller


Mac Miller on a big screen while he performs “Congratulations” at Camp Flog Gnaw in Oct. of 2017. Screen capture of a video taken by Damian Lopez.

Damian Lopez

  Malcolm McCormick, known as Mac Miller, was a rapper and record producer from Pittsburg, PA. Miller produced five fulllength albums, each one ranking within the top five on Billboard 200 charts during the week of release.  

   According to the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner, on Sept. 7, 2018, Miller was found unresponsive in his Studio City home and was pronounced dead at the scene.  

  The coroner’s report showed Miller died of an overdose of fentanyl, cocaine, and ethanol. Whether Miller was aware that his drugs contained fentanyl, which the DEA describes as a synthetic opioid that can be 80 to 100 times stronger than morphine, is debated. According to statements made by Miller’s drug dealer, Miller was aware the drugs contained fentanyl. 

  September marks a year since Miller’s death, and the anniversary of two of his albums. According to a Rolling Stone article by Jon Blistein from Sept. 26, 2019, three arrests have been made in connection to Miller’s death. 

  A criminal complaint was filed against Cameron James Pettit on Aug. 30, 2019, who was arrested on Sept. 4, 2019. On Sept. 5, 2019, FBI and the US Drug Enforcement Agency arrested Ryan Reavis in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, where drugs and weapons were found in the search of a home connected to Reavis. Los Angeles Police also arrested Stephen Walter of Los Angeles on Sept. 23, 2019. Walter provided the pills to Pettit. 

  References to depression and drug use in Miller’s music was not uncommon.  

  In his 2013 sophomore album, Watching Movies with the Sound Off,” he states in the song “I’m Not Real,” “Marijuana smoke in my stomach, toasted in public/head in the clouds, my toes in the struggle”.  

  On Miller’s 2015 release “GO:OD AM,” in the song “Rush Hour” he states, “I’m a deranged m—–f——, took too many uppers, now it’s rush hour, Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker”.  

The same album features the song “100 Grand Kids” where Miller says, “getting faded, I’ve been stoned all week/what’s a GOD without a little OD?” 

  “Pittsburg rapper Mac Miller continues to move past the drugged-out party-boy persona of his 2011 debut,” wrote Keith Harris of Rolling Stone magazine about The Devine Feminine, released on Sept. 16, 2016. 

  In an interview with Emily Manning for I-D Magazine, Miller told Manning how the album is about love and “feminine energy.” 

  Media outlets such as TMZ had reported images of Miller and Ariana Grande, featured throughout “The Devine Feminine,” together during the production of the album. Miller and Grande never confirmed that they were dating. However, social media posts by both Grande and Miller later confirmed they were a couple 

  Gracelove Simmons, computer science major at California State University, Bakersfield, wrote in an email “Everybody, including them, denied anything would come from it but there was way too much chemistry in the behind the scenes videos. I just knew they would date. 

  “On his wounded fifth album, Mac Miller sings deftly about heartbreak and his mental state, capturing his resignation without turning sadness into a performative spectacle,” wrote Pitchfork contributor Evan Rytlewski in an album review of Miller’s final album, Swimming. 

  “Well I’ma be here for a while/Longer than I did expect to/I was out of town, getting lost till I was rescued/Now I’m in the clouds, come down when I run out of jet fuel/But I never run out of jet fuel,” raps Mac Miller on the song “Jetfuel.” Miller’s last album was released on Aug. 3, 2018, a little more than a month before his overdose.