Malcolm James McCormick (January 19, 1992 — September 7, 2018), better known as Mac Miller (and also by Larry Lovenstein, Delusional Thomas, and his producer alias Larry Fisherman), was an American rapper, singer, and record producer from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Miller was proficient in music from an early age, picking up piano at the age of 6, starting his rap career at 14, deciding to take music seriously at age 15, and eventually teaching himself to play guitar, drums, and bass alongside the aforementioned piano.
In 2010, he signed a record deal with indie label Rostrum Records after putting out several mixtapes. He released his debut album Blue Slide Park in 2011; it went on to top the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, making it the first independently distributed debut album to top the chart in 16 years. He was also featured on that year's XXL Freshman List.
Although his initial style of music was regularly pigeonholed as "frat rap", with its routine light-hearted subject matter of partying, sex, drugs and having fun, he would grow into a more individual voice over the years as his lyrics tackled more mature and introspective themes, and his production grew more varied and complex, taking influence from genres like jazz, soul and R&B.
On September 7, 2018, Miller died of an accidental drug overdose. He was 26 years old, and had been outspoken on struggling with substance abuse and depression for years, both through public statements and his music. Two months later, it was announced that the overdose was due to a mix of cocaine, fentanyl and alcohol. A year after his death, an investigation opened that led to the arrests of several men who allegedly conspired to sell Miller oxycodone pills laced with fentanyl. The men were later indicted on related charges.
Miller is survived by his mother, father and brother, and the Mac Miller Fund (which supports youth arts, community-building programs, and helps young musicians dealing with substance abuse) was created in his memory. His estate has approved a small number of posthumous releases, most notably Circles, the follow-up to his album Swimming that he was working on prior to his death. Producer Jon Brion, who had worked with Miller on Swimming, finished the album independently.
- But My Mackin' Ain't Easy (as EZ Mac) (2007)
- The Jukebox: Prelude to Class Clown (2009)
- The High Life (2009)
- K.I.D.S. (Kickin' Incredibly Dope Shit) (2010)
- Best Day Ever (2011)
- I Love Life, Thank You (2011)
- Macadelic (2012)
- Run on Sentences, Vol. 1 (2013)
- Stolen Youth (with OFWGKTA affiliate Vince Staples - as Larry Fisherman) (2013)
- Delusional Thomas (as Delusional Thomas) (2013)
- Live from Space (with The Internet) (2013)
- Faces (2014)
- On And On And Beyond (2011)
- You (as Larry Lovenstein) (2012)
- Blue Slide Park (2011)
- Watching Movies With the Sound Off (2013)
- GO:OD AM (2015)
- The Divine Feminine (2016)
- Swimming (2018)
- Circles (2020, posthumous release)
Reading tropes with the sound off:
- Be Careful What You Wish For: His song "Brand Name" contains this line: "I'm hoping not to join the 27 club". He didn't, because he died of a fentanyl overdose at age 26.
- Biblical Motifs: Implied by the Watching Movies cover, which features Miller at a table with an apple in front of him, along with a flower vase to his left (possibly representing the Garden of Eden) and a hanging cherub to his right (possibly representing the angel on his shoulder).
- Catchphrase:"Somebody do something!" At least, according to his reality show.
- Celebrity Break-Up Song: Referenced in Ariana Grande's "thank u next."
- Celebrity Song: "Donald Trump"
- Child Prodigy: Has played multiple instruments since his pre-teens.
- Dream Team:
- Fun with Acronyms:
- K.I.D.S. = Kickin' Incredibly Dope Shit.
- "S.D.S." = Somebody Do Something.
- Grand Finale: A tragic Double Subversion; Mac stated that he thought the song "Grand Finale" off of Faces would be the last song of his last release. It isn't; discounting Circles, that title belongs to "So It Goes" from Swimming.
- Grief Song: Poppy from K.I.D.S, about his grandfather.
- In turn, ghostin by Ariana Grande is her grieving Mac, and hes mentioned in thank u, next.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Wiz Khalifa.
- And more recently with Earl Sweatshirt.
- I Have Many Names: Mac Miller, Larry Fisherman, Larry Lovenstein (and the Velvet Revival) and Delusional Thomas, to name a few.
- Mind Screw: "Love Me As I Have Loved You"; ominous synths, random laughter, a poem in a foreign language, someone asking "are you there", all the while the melody is somebody whistling "Row Row Row Your Boat".
- New Sound Album:
- Watching Movies With The Sound Off for his style in general (though this started happening around the time of Macadelic), departing from a pop-friendly sound to a more psychedelic, ambient one with influence from Flying Lotus and OFWGKTA.
- The Divine Feminine diverged into neo-soul.
- Swimming was composed of more of an alternative R&B sound.
- Circles had a combo of R&B and neo-soul vibes, with sparse ambiance.
- Odd Friendship: With Ariana Grande.
- Sampling: Frequently present in his music (everything from Sufjan Stevens to Owl City to Empire Of The Sun to piano from Up), though very much more on his mixtapes than his albums (for obvious reasons).
- Singer Namedrop: Tyler, the Creator chants "Mac" in "OK".
- Shout-Out: We'd be here all day if we counted every reference he's made in his lyrics, but he notably made an entire body of work based on the film Kids.
- Spoken Word in Music: K.I.D.S. utilizes multiple samples from the namesake film throughout the mixtape, even starting the whole tape with one.
- The Stoner/Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll: Many songs detail his love for weed, lean/purple drank, alcohol, and many others. Unfortunately, those things would later be the cause of his death.
- Teen Idol: Not really in the stereotypical sense, but he got famous aged 17-18, so he counts as this.
- Textless Album Cover: All of his albums post Blue Slide Park.
- Wolverine Publicity: Not really, although he does have an extremely prolific work ethic, as his discography shows.
- Once a day, I rise...