On September 7, 2018, the music industry lost a young artist whose music was the background score for many college students growing up. Malcolm James McCormick or Mac Miller, 26, was a Pittsburgh-born rapper. He grew up loving his hometown of Pittsburgh and in 2010, his dreams of becoming a rapper came true. He was signed to his first record deal at a local Pittsburgh-indie record label called Rostrum Records.
Before he was even signed to a record deal, however, in 2007 at age fifteen, he released a mixtape called But My Mackin’ Ain’t Easy under the moniker of EZ Mac. It was the years between then to 2010 Miller would release two more mixtapes before being discovered by Rostrum Records.
Mac Miller dropped the mixtape, Best Day Ever, in 2010. This mixtape had hits songs such as “Wear My Hat” and “All Around The World.” Most notably, this mixtape featured hit single, “Donald Trump.” This song was Miller’s first Billboard Top 100 single, reaching number 75. In November 2010, Miller’s most memorable song, to most people, “Knock Knock,” was released. He was 18 when this song debuted.
Miller’s debut album in 2011 was dedicated to where he grew up. The album, titled Blue Slide Park after Frick Park in Squirrel Hill, helped launch Miller’s career and put him on the charts. The second song on the album was titled “Party on Fifth Ave.” This is a clear reference to Fifth Avenue in downtown Pittsburgh. And although it was not an official single, Miller’s song, “Smile Back,” became his highest-chart spot on the Billboard Top 100, reaching number 55.
In December 2012, Miller performed in SRU’s own Aebersold Recreational Center as one of University Program Board’s annual concerts. He proudly sported a Pittsburgh Pirates hat and performed after opening acts Mod Sun and The Come UP.
In his eight years of making music, Mac Miller had five studio albums, one live studio album, and had seven tours, with some being worldwide. He was also featured on the hit single “The Way” by Ariana Grande in 2013. After his passing, Frick Park held a memorial in his honor and re-painted the famous Blue Slide back to its original dark blue.
Mac Miller will truly be missed as an icon, inspiration and idol to many people, including those from Pittsburgh.