Born on January 19, 1992, Malcolm James McCormick, known professionally as “Mac Miller”, is mainly recognized as being the former boyfriend of Ariana Grande, however his achievements prove that he is so much more than anyone’s partner. Mac Miller began his career at the ripe age of fourteen, with the name “EZ Mac” and he was apart of a rap group called “The III Spoken”. In 2008 and 2009, his mixtapes became extremely successful and this was proven in 2010, when at seventeen years old Miller was signed to “Rostrum Records”. This was a major breakthrough in his career, seeing as he embarked on a tour in late 2010 called “The Incredibly Dope Tour”, which sold out at all locations. “Blue Slide Park”, his first album, was released and ranked No. 1 on the Billboard 200 during its first week. June 2013 marked the month of his second album titled “Watching Movies with the Sound Off” and that was the same year that he created his own record label “REMember Music”. Two years later, Miller released his third album “GO:OD AM”, followed by his fourth one delievered in 2016 called “The Divine Feminine”. His fifth studio release was on August 3, 2018 titled “Swimming” and reflected many of his personal feelings.
Despite the success of his fast-paced career, that did not at all match Mac Miller’s personal life and emotions. Around 2012, he began to be open about his dependence on lean, which is a combination of codeine and promethezine. After the release of his first album, he dove deeper into the world of drugs and it clearly became addicting very quickly, seeing as Miller’s use of drugs became a repetitive topic in his music. The truth is, however, that despite what his lyrics were centered around, Mac Miller found peace and hope when creating music. He drowned himself in his work in order to avoid the issues that would end up killing him. It is not uncommon that he struggled with drugs, and the age that people begin using drugs keeps decreasing. Kids as young as ten years old are experimenting with dangerous substances, and no one truly understands the gravity of the situation. Life is as short as it is precious and miraculous, which is not acknowledged enough. Mac Miller understood how valuable life was, even as he used substances that would shorten his lifetime. In fact, it was an accidental drug overdose that ended the artist’s career and that same reason could end the life of someone you may know. It is not only important, but vital, to seek help in situations where you feel addicted and dependent on a drug or other unhealthy and sometimes fatal substances.
It may surprise some people when they take a closer look at how mental health and substance abuse are tied together so tightly. People usually turn to substances that they know are bad for them because they feel that these aspects will help them cope in an easier way. The truth is that anything, healthy or unhealthy, can look like a good alternative for a while, but no one can run from their problems. At one point or another, we must face them head on. Your mind will play tricks on you, your mind will hurt you and your mind will be your own worst enemy. Mental illnesses can feel suffocating. Mental illnesses can make each day harder than the last. Mental illnesses can make you feel like nothing is worth it. What everyone forgets, though, is that any disorder of the mind can be managed. There is no fixing to be done, for no one is broken. However, there can be steps taken to make you feel like you are no longer drowning, but swimming. As Mac Miller sang in his song “Come Back to Earth”, “And I was just drowning, but now I’m swimming/Through stressful waters to relief”. Mac Miller, despite his tragic and heartbreaking death, lived the life of a fighter and is an inspiration. He proved that finding a craft, a hobby, not an escape, but a state of peace, could be the best way to help not only your heart, but your mind. His music continues to inspire me everyday and continuously shows me that anything can be conquered. Mental health is a battle that everyone can win, if you find the strength that lives within you. On a final note, we must all remember Mac Miller’s message and what he once wrote, “A life ain’t a life ‘til you live it.”