Luke Stergiou / Senior Photographer

Adriana Daniel

Equinox Staff

On Friday, September 7 the music industry lost one of their own. Malcolm James McCormick better known by his stage name Mac Miller, was found dead in his Los Angeles home.

Miller’s death is still under speculation, however it is thought that his death was due to a drug overdose. Dying at the young age of 26, the rapper left behind thousands of adoring fans who felt the effects of his passing. The artist had been recording albums and selling music for seven years. With his debut album “Blue Slide Park” in 2011, which hit number one on the billboards, foreshadowed how the rest of his career would go. Miller went on for the next several years selling out “chill” venues as he referred to and performing around the world. Miller played in France, Norway, Sweden, and many more countries.

Having touched the hearts and souls of his fans all over the world, Miller has an extra special connection to the Keene State College campus. Miller played here at KSC two years ago for the spring concert. Bringing his liveliness and happy energy to Keene State, and leaving his mark on everyone, including the gym wall. In the Spaulding Gym, located on the Keene State campus, visitors can see his signature and a special message on the wall.

Many spectators have washed over Miller’s legacy to be nothing more than the one time boyfriend of the singer Ariana Grande, but fans have blamed Grande for her “part” in his death.

Grande following their breakup in May was very vocal that their breakup was because Miller had trouble with his sobriety, claiming he had a disease she could not control. Their toxic relationship ended and less than two weeks later Miller crashed his car and was arrested for driving under the influence. Because of moments like this, fans have taken to Grande’s social media platforms to express their opinions on how she broke his heart leading to the end of his life.

Grande has responded to one comment about Miller’s death on social media saying, “How absurd that you minimize female self-respect and self-worth by saying someone should stay in a toxic relationship because he wrote an album about them… I am not a baby sitter or a mother and no woman should feel that they need to be.” Grande is not the first girlfriend to be blamed for a performer’s death, which is referred to as the “Yoko Effect”.

I have never been one for rap, but a song here and there is more than sufficient. In preparation for this article I dove into Miller’s past albums and begun to realize all the songs I would listen to when I was in the mood for the rap genre were Mac’s.

I didn’t believe that he was more than just another rapper when I first heard Ariana Grande’s song, “The Way.” But his career was  much more than that. Miller was a rapper but also a producer that helped many grow their musical dreams.

Miller’s music is heavily influenced by many who came before him; the song “Party on Fifth Ave.” on his first album Blue Slide Park has an old school flare to it with the beats from Dj Kool 80’s hit, “Let Me Clear My Throat.”

He started to proficiently study music at the age of 12 and listeners can easily hear that in his music. Claiming his core influences come from OutKast, Tribe called Quest, Biggie Smalls, The Beatles, and Sublime. It’s weird to think the Beatles had an effect on Miller, but he was open about how beautiful he believed music was and that to understand it you need to study all the genres and learn to appreciate all the corners.

Performer Pharrell Williams was quoted by MTV saying, “This kid is very talented, there are so many sides he hasn’t shown you yet.” It hurts to think we will not get to experience all the nooks and crannies of Mac Miller’s music, but just like other musicians before him who died way too early, take this time to appreciate his music and spread the words he preached.

Adriana Daniel can be contacted at

Share and Enjoy !