Thumbs High, Mac Miller

An interpretation of his success and influence.

Source: Vulture

These projects were rooted in fun, carelessness, and youth.

I refuse to pretend Mac Miller was an artist who “helped me through the rough times, man.” His music didn’t start out like that — as a kid, he was chipper and impish. He had genuine passion for music, though. Mac taught himself to play piano, guitar, bass, and drums. The boy could spit, too.

Mac explains KIDS at 3:05

A Friend In Me

My admiration for Mac Miller was unusual in the sense that I didn’t idolize him, or see him as a larger-than-life celebrity. He was more like a homie you’d dap up on your way to 4th period — or the cool kid you wanted to hang out with because he made everyone laugh.

He was carefree — the life of the party, always having fun.

The young artist was not afraid of authority; inevitably, young minds were drawn. He “made it big” because he exuded that fun, playful energy every kid feels.


The next couple years moved fast for Malcolm. In 2011, he released his debut album, Blue Slide Park. It debuted at number one on US Billboard 200 and was the first independent-album to top the chart since Dogg Food in ‘95. In 2012, Miller started on the Macadelic Tour — during this time, he picked up an addiction to promethazine, which is commonly known as “lean.” Later this year, he began filming a reality show for MTV.

Death and Swimming

Mac Miller died on September 7th, 2018 from an apparent overdose. At the time of this writing, there is very little detail regarding his death. While rash to speculate, part of me can’t help but wonder if he died intentionally, under the power of his own will.


Swimming feels like a preface to Mac Miller’s death.

The first song on the album is titled “Come Back to Earth.” He projects:


In the “Self-Care” video, Mac begins buried inside a coffin — a Kill Bill: Vol 2 reference. As he looks around, he notices it’s securely nailed shut. He struggles for something in his shoe. At this point, one might assume he’s reaching for a phone or tool to help him escape. Instead, he sparks a cigarette, as to confirm the condition. While he smokes, he whispers:


Bored, uneducated, homeless — em dashes are my specialty. I write what I see, think, and feel. That’s it.