September 7 was a sad day for hip-hop fans across the globe, as accomplished rapper Mac Miller died at age 26 of what is now being confirmed as an apparent accidental drug overdose, according to TMZ.
“Mac was found … at his home in California’s San Fernando Valley and was pronounced dead at the scene,” reported the celebrity blog at the time of Miller’s passing, adding that authorities were alerted by “a male friend who placed a 911 call from Mac’s home.”
Acoording to an autopsy report, the rapper died of an accidental drug overdose involving the combination of cocaine and fentanyl — the super-strength opiate that previously claimed the lives of Prince, Tom Petty, and others
Born Malcolm James McCormick before adopting Mac Miller as a stage name, the musician also produced records using the pseudonym Larry Fisherman.
The rapper had been struggling with substance abuse in the months before his death, and was arrested for DUI and hit-and-run when he hit a utility pole with his Mercedes G-Wagon in May.
Miller was open about his darker thoughts in his music, especially on his 2014 mixtape Faces, where he discussed narcotic use and early death.
In a recently published profile by Vulture, the rapper said, “I used to rap super openly about really dark shit, because that’s what I was experiencing at the time. That’s fine, that’s good, that’s life. It should be all the emotions.”
Miller forged his path into the limelight through copious releases and guest verses for other prominent performers, becoming the first independently distributed artist since 1995 to debut a record on the top of the Billboard 200 with the launch of his first studio album in 2011. The rapper was still at the height of his popularity in 2018, having released his fifth studio album, Swimming, in August. The record debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200. Miller was slated to begin a nationwide tour in support of the album in October.
In May 2018, he parted ways with longtime girlfriend and fellow musician Ariana Grande, who has spoken publicly about Miller’s struggles with addiction and the strain it put on their relationship.
Miller was born in Pittsburgh, the son of a photographer and an architect. He became serious about music while in high school, deciding to focus on his career almost exclusively from age 15 onward.
His first mixtape was released shortly thereafter, and he would eventually sign with Rostrum records, with whom he would break out on the national stage. In 2013, the rapper launched REMember Music, a record label named after a friend who had passed away.
Updated on November 5, 2018: Updated to reflect more current information about the cause of Mac Miller’s death.
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