Photo Credit: Rolling Stone

On September 7th, 2018, American rapper Mac Miller tragically passed away at the youthful age of 26. It wasn’t long before the entire internet responded. Everybody had something to say, creating a messy online conversation. Many were hoping for him to rest in peace, while others were fixated on blaming his ex-girlfriend, Ariana Grande, for his overdose. However, the most interesting outcome of his death was the apparent fact that thousands of “fans” came out, praising his work, calling him a legend, and claiming themselves as die-hard fans of the rapper.

 

We’ve seen this before. Following the death of XXXTENTACION, half of the internet became his biggest fans out of nowhere. The same news outlets that were once denouncing his violent and controversial past were now publishing heartfelt tributes. There is no denying that XXXTENTACION and Mac Miller were phenomenal artists, but they serve as examples of our paradoxical views towards death. Why can’t an artist be appreciated while they’re alive? Does our attitude, in a sense, glorify death? And if so, is this mentality detrimental?


Mac Miller had always been a hard drug user, admitting to using cocaine, codeine cough syrup, and angel dust. This was widely known, and was even ridiculed at times by the public. However, it seemed that nobody was on his side until his passing. We overlooked his problems, as we are often too self-indulgent or judgemental to acknowledge the difficulties that other people are facing. Sometimes, we even comment on their weaknesses as they struggle to combat their illnesses. Sadly, once they are no longer with us, we become curious to their hardships, wondering what battles they were fighting that they weren’t strong enough to overcome.

 

Although it is understandable why we react this way, it can be interpreted as a glorification of death. Once his passing became viral, views on his music videos skyrocketed. Several artists & influencers posted tributes to him. He became the center of attention for the week following his passing. It is also believed that Mac predicted his death through his lyrics. In his song, “Brand Name,” he rapped “To everyone who sell me drugs. Don’t mix it with that bullshit, I’m hoping not to join the twenty seven club.” Although he was 26 at his time of death, he was about 4 months from turning 27. “Self Care” went “Swear the height be too tall so like September I fall.” The eeriness of this lyric stems from how the late rapper passed away in September, indicating that he may have been aware of his own death months before the rest of us.


If Mac Miller really was insinuating his death, is it possible that he was influenced by the fact that glorification would follow? It’s difficult to face the fact that “making it” in our twisted world is so arduous without a major event as scandalous as death. But Mac definitely made his mark before he left, influencing millions with his music. It’s hard to be mad at society. They are doing nothing but paying respect to the dead. However, we should appreciate artists for who they are as creatives, striving to be noticed in our busy universe while they’re still alive. Otherwise, we may continue to perpetuate a dangerous societal mindset. Rest in peace, Mac Miller.


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