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UPDATE: Pittsburgh Hip-Hop Star Mac Miller dead at 26; friends call him a ‘positive light’

By September 7, 2018 No Comments

“He was the underdog who made his dream happen and then helped many more of us realize ours.”

Fans and friends of Pittsburgh-born hip-hop superstar Mac Miller are trying to make sense of the rappers sudden death Friday afternoon, Sept. 7 at the age of 26.

“Mac was a really great friend and a great person,” Miller’s friend Ryan Haynes told the Pittsburgh Current Friday evening. Haynes performs under the name, DJ Afterthought, and has been a friend and collaborator of Miller’s for about six years. “He is one of the most positive people I’ve ever known. He would put on a smile even when things weren’t the best. He oozed happiness and positivity and brought that to as many people as he could. He put me on multiple tours, he had me at his house, he brought me around his family.

“He loved pittsburgh man, he loved the people, the underdogs. He was the underdog who made his dream happen and then helped many more of us realize ours.”

Haynes says he last saw Miller about two months ago when Haynes returned from a tour of Australia. “I was going through some rough times and the first place I went was Mac’s. He was always there when you needed him.” Haynes says he talked to Miller earlier this week and said the artist was excited about his upcoming tour and recent record, Swimming. 

“Look, Mac had his demons and went through some well documented rough patches, but he sounded good,” Hayes says. “He used his music and got through those times. No way did I see this in the cards.”

Haynes says friends and fans need to focus on who Miller was as a person and his music.

“The negativity doesn’t do any good,” Haynes says. “He was a positive light. He never let his smile down, even in dark times. I want people to listen to his music, listen to what he said and remember him that way. He was loved. Spend three minutes on Twitter tonight and you’ll see how much.

According to the website, Miller was found in his San Fernando Valley home and pronounced dead at the scene. There have been rumors of an overdose, howver those reports have in no way been confirmed. Social media reaction locally and across the world has been swift.

Miller was recently the cover of a large feature story from the website, Vulture. In it, writer Craig Jenkins writes:

“The chief drawback of blowing up young is the lack of room for error. Because Miller’s music is frank about his struggles, and because those struggles periodically involve drug use, he lives in the constant shadow of questions about his well-being. There are people who think he’s a round-the-clock reckless, depressive party animal. Really, he spends his days relatively upbeat and preoccupied with music, and also with working out and balancing his diet. He’s not above mistakes and indulgences: Last May, Miller caught a DUI after crashing his Mercedes-Benz G-Class in Southern California and summarily went silent on social media. Your mind works through the worst with the guy who made Faces, the 2014 mixtape full of ominous lyrics about hard drugs and musings on premature death. ‘I used to rap super openly about really dark shit,” he says of that time in his life and artistry and the mark it has left on the way audiences connect the facts of his life with the themes of his music, “because that’s what I was experiencing at the time. That’s fine, that’s good, that’s life. It should be all the emotions.’ As a result, he knows what everyone thinks about him, and now he has to  teach himself not to care.”

On Aug. 5, Miller released his newest record, Swimming. On the record is the song, “Self Care,” where Miller sings:

I got all the time in the world
So for now, I’m just chillin’
Plus, I know it’s a, it’s a beautiful feeling
In oblivion, yeah, yeah
Oblivion, yeah, yeah
Oblivion, yeah, yeah

In the video for the song, Miller is laying eerily in a pine box where he’s been buried alive. However, in an homage to Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill, Miller punches his way out.


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