Malcolm James McCormick (January 19, 1992 - September 7, 2018), known professionally as Mac Miller, was an American rapper, singer, and record producer.
In 2010, he signed a record deal with Pittsburgh-based indie record label Rostrum Records. He subsequently began recording his debut studio album Blue Slide Park, and released it on November 8, 2011. The album went on to debut at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, making it the first independently distributed debut album to top the chart since Tha Dogg Pound's 1995 album, Dogg Food.
In early 2013, Miller launched REMember Music, his own record label imprint, named after a friend who died. Miller's second album, Watching Movies with the Sound Off, was released on June 18, 2013. In January 2014, Miller announced he was no longer signed to Rostrum Records. In October 2014, it was reported Miller signed a record deal for him and his label REMember, with Warner Bros. Records. He also served as a record producer under the pseudonym Larry Fisherman, producing music for SZA, Vince Staples, Lil B, Ab-Soul, Riff Raff, Smoke DZA, and himself.
Malcolm James McCormick was born on January 19, 1992, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the son of Karen Meyers, a photographer, and Mark McCormick, an architect. His father is Christian, and his mother is Jewish. Miller was raised Jewish, had a Bar Mitzvah, and celebrated the Jewish High Holy Days. Because of his religion, he described himself as "the coolest Jewish rapper", in a rival response to Drake's own claim to be "the best Jew in the Rap game". He was raised in the Point Breeze part of Pittsburgh. Miller attended Winchester Thurston School and Taylor Allderdice High School. He began piano lessons at age 6. In high school, Miller decided to focus on his hip hop career, later noting, "Once I hit 15, I got real serious about it and it changed my life completely ... I used to be into sports, play all the sports, go to all the high school parties. But once I found out hip-hop is almost like a job, that's all I did." Miller, a self-taught musician, played piano, guitar, drums, and bass.
Miller first started rapping at the age of fourteen. Before that, he wanted to be a singer. Prior to changing his name to Mac Miller, he was known as EZ Mac and released the mixtape But My Mackin' Ain't Easy in 2007 at the age of fifteen. Miller was also part of rap group The Ill Spoken together with fellow Pittsburgh rapper, Beedie. The Ill Spoken released the mixtape How High in 2008. In 2009 Miller released two mixtapes The Jukebox: Prelude to Class Clown and The High Life before getting signed to Rostrum Records. In 2009 at age 17, he made it to the final four in Rhyme Calisthenics, the MC competition at Shadow Lounge.
In early 2010, Miller signed with Rostrum Records. Rostrum president Benjy Grinberg met Miller while recording with Wiz Khalifa at ID Labs. Although Grinberg started giving Miller advice, he didn't show any interest in getting involved with his career until the artist began work on the K.I.D.S. mixtape, when, as he later told HitQuarters, Grinberg "noticed a maturation in his sound and approach to his music." By that point Miller had started attracting interest from different record companies but chose Rostrum due to its location in his hometown and association with Wiz Khalifa. K.I.D.S. was released by the label in August 2010. The mixtape was inspired by the movie Kids. A significant breakthrough came in late 2010 when Miller embarked on his first tour, the Incredibly Dope Tour, selling out every location. In 2010, he won two awards at the Pittsburgh hip hop awards.
Miller's fifth release was the mixtape Best Day Ever, featuring the single "Donald Trump" and hit songs "Wear My Hat" and "All Around the World". The mixtape featured mainstream producers such as Just Blaze, 9th Wonder and Chuck Inglish of The Cool Kids. On November 22, 2010, his first single, "Knock Knock", premiered its video on YouTube. On March 29, 2011, he released an EP called On and On and Beyond. The six-track work was produced by Rostrum Records.
Miller announced the title of his first album, Blue Slide Park, on his YouTube channel on July 5, 2011, set for a fall release. In September 2011 it was revealed that Miller would release a mixtape titled 92 Til Infinity hosted by DJ Jazzy Jeff prior to the release of Blue Slide Park. However, the release did not happen, and it was since then left in planning.
Miller featured on Maroon 5's remix of their hit song "Moves Like Jagger".
Miller released a 13-song mixtape called I Love Life, Thank You, featuring Sir Michael Rocks of The Cool Kids, Talib Kweli and Bun B, on October 14, 2011.
In November 2011, Blue Slide Park debuted at number 1 on the Billboard 200 with first week sales of 144,000 copies. This was the first independently distributed debut to take the number one spot on the Billboard albums chart since Tha Dogg Pound's 1995 release Dogg Food. In 2011, Miller was one of eleven rappers featured in XXL magazine's annual "Freshman Class" list of that year. In 2011, his first TV appearance took place in the VH1 show Single Ladies; he played a fictionalized version of himself that succeeded in selling one of his mixtapes to one of the main characters. Also in 2011, he was a part of MTV Jams Fab Five artists.
Miller uploaded a trailer on YouTube for his long-anticipated music video "Missed Calls" on February 15, 2012. It was released on his official YouTube channel on June 22, 2012. On March 23, 2012, Miller released his seventh mixtape called Macadelic. He released "Loud" as a single from the mixtape. "Loud" peaked at number 53 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. Miller also released a video for "Thoughts From A Balcony". In June 2012 Miller premiered the song "Onaroll" available on YouTube. "Onaroll" is performed by Miller and produced by Pharrell Williams, from a future collaboration EP titled Pink Slime. On August 7, 2012, Miller released a further single from Pink Slime, "Glow", available for free download. On September 1, Miller released another free song called "PlaneCarBoat" which features West Coast rapper Schoolboy Q and was produced by himself.
Miller released an iTunes-exclusive EP entitled You under the name Larry Lovestein & The Velvet Revival on November 21. Rather than rap, the EP features Miller crooning over lounging jazz instrumentals.
On October 14, Miller announced Pink Slime would be released before the end of 2012 and that his second album, Watching Movies with the Sound Off, will be released in early 2013. Watching Movies With the Sound Off is set to feature guest appearances from Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, Earl Sweatshirt, Tyler, the Creator, Action Bronson and Jay Electronica. When speaking of the album Miller said that it is "very introspective and very personal so it's kind of throwing it all out there and seeing what happens."
He also announced his plans to finally release 92 Til Infinity with DJ Jazzy Jeff in early 2013 prior to his release. Miller was featured on a six-episode reality series titled Mac Miller and the Most Dope Family on MTV2. It featured the production of Watching Movies With the Sounds Off and premiered on February 26, 2013. The first trailer was released on January 20, 2013.
On March 4, 2013, Miller released a new mixtape solely featuring instrumentals made by Miller titled, Run-On Sentences Vol. 1 under his production alias "Larry Fisherman". On March 9, he would announce the first single from Watching Movies with the Sound Off to be "Somebody Do Somethin'" and to release soon. He premiered a snippet of the song of the second episode of his reality show. On May 2, 2013, he announced via UStream and Twitter that Watching Movies with the Sound Off would be released on, June 18, 2013. The album was met with generally positive reviews upon its release, with most critics praising his new psychedelic sound. The album also received commercial success debuting at number three on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 101,000 copies in its first week. The album spawned three singles; "S.D.S.", "Watching Movies" and "Goosebumpz".
Miller founded REMember Music, his own record label imprint in early 2013, named after a friend who died. He also fully produced Odd Future affiliate Vince Staples' mixtape, Stolen Youth. During October 2013, Miller toured Europe with fellow rappers Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz. On October 31, 2013, Miller released a new self-produced mixtape named Delusional Thomas. On December 17, 2013, Miller released his first live album, Live from Space. Following that, he plans to begin working with Pharrell again on their collaboration EP Pink Slime to be released during 2014. He was also working on four separate projects, and had done at least seven songs on each. He told MTV that they included his solo "Mac Miller album", and it had come together by accident.
Miller announced on January 14, 2014, he was no longer signed to Rostrum Records. On May 11, 2014, Miller independently released his tenth solo mixtape, Faces. On October 21, 2014, it was revealed Miller signed a recording contract and a distribution deal for his label REMember Music, with Warner Bros. Records, for a reported $10 million. The second season to Miller's MTV2 reality series Mac Miller and the Most Dope Family was also released in 2014. On July 30, 2015, Miller revealed that he had completed his third studio album, which will be his major label debut. On August 5, 2015, Miller revealed his album title to be GO:OD AM with a release date of September 18, 2015, and that a music video for the first single "100 Grandkids" would drop August 6.
Miller announced his fourth album, The Divine Feminine, on July 28, 2016, and debuted its first single, "Dang!", featuring guest vocals from Anderson Paak. The album was released on September 16.
Miller released "Small Worlds", the first single from his fifth studio album, Swimming, on May 30, 2018. The album was announced on July 13, and released on August 3 to positive reviews.
Miller included Big L, Lauryn Hill, the Beastie Boys, Outkast, and A Tribe Called Quest among his influences. He also had a close relationship with fellow Pittsburgh rapper Wiz Khalifa, saying "Wiz has been a big brother to me with this music thing so far. Our relationship is beyond music. He really is just my homie, whether I will be making music or not."
Miller said that he became addicted to a combination of promethazine and codeine, known as "purple drank" or "lean", which he began taking to manage the stress he was enduring during his Macadelic Tour in 2012. In January 2013, Miller told Complex: "I love lean; it's great. I was not happy and I was on lean very heavy. I was so fucked up all the time it was bad. My friends couldn't even look at me the same. I was lost." At the time of Miller's addiction, his childhood friend, Jimmy Murton, said: "I saw him in that mentality I remember being in—you're getting fucked up because you feel like you need to. You're trying to get away from everything. For how much he was drinking, it's unbelievable that he stopped. It's definitely one of the most impressive things he's ever done." Miller quit taking promethazine in November 2012, before he started the shooting of his reality show Mac Miller and the Most Dope Family.
Miller was in a long-term relationship with a woman he met in middle school for four years until April 2013. Many of the songs on his mixtape Macadelic were about their relationship. Miller dated singer Ariana Grande from August 2016 to May 2018.
In February 2011, while on tour in Upstate New York, Miller and his friends were arrested for possession of marijuana for which they had to spend the night in jail. The case was settled.
Producer Lord Finesse filed a $10 million lawsuit against Miller, Rostrum Records and DatPiff on July 9, 2012, for the use of a sample of Finesse's song "Hip 2 Da Game" used in Miller's 2010 mixtape song "Kool-Aid and Frozen Pizza". In January 2013, the lawsuit was settled out of court with its stipulations kept confidential.
In March 2015, the band Aquarian Dream filed a $150,000 lawsuit against Miller for sampling the band's song "Yesterday (Was so Nice Today)" in the song "Therapy" on his 2014 mixtape Faces.
Miller was arrested in May 2018 on charges of driving under the influence and hit and run after allegedly crashing into and knocking down a power pole and fleeing the scene with two passengers. Police arrived at the scene, ran Miller's license plate number, and obtained his address. Miller confessed to the crash when police arrived at his home. Miller was taken into custody and released on $15,000 bail.
Miller died of a suspected drug overdose in his Studio City home on September 7, 2018. He was found unresponsive around noon that day, after a friend called for an "immediate dispatch" for a patient in cardiac arrest, according to a 911 call. Miller was pronounced dead at the scene upon arrival of authorities. He was scheduled for a video shoot on the day of his death. An autopsy was done, but the cause of death is yet to be officially determined. He was buried at Homewood Cemetery, in a Jewish funeral.
• Blue Slide Park (2011)
• Watching Movies with the Sound Off (2013)
• GO:OD AM (2015)
• The Divine Feminine (2016)
• Swimming (2018)
Sources: Last.fm, Wikipedia
Mac Miller in the news
|Songs by Mac Miller|