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Alleged overdose takes life of rapper, Mac Miller

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The hip-hop world has lost another young icon.

Rapper Malcolm McCormick, known professionally as Mac Miller, passed away Friday afternoon at the age of 26. According to a report from CNN, Los Angeles Police responded to a call for a death investigation at the 11600 block of Valleycrest Drive just before 12 p.m. PDT. TMZ reported that a male friend had placed the call from Miller’s home and that a coroner pronounced him dead on the scene. TMZ’s report also stated it was an apparent overdose that claimed the life of the rapper.

In a statement released by Miller’s publicist, his family wrote the following:

“He was a bright light in this world for his family, friends and fans.”

A native of Pittsburgh, Mac Miller had started rapping before he even graduated high school, getting his first record deal at the age of 16 when he signed with Rostrum Records, which was also home to fellow native Wiz Khalifa. His earliest hit, “Donald Trump”, set off a brief feud between him and the now-President. But it was his debut album, Blue Slide Park, that would bring Miller into the national limelight. The 2011 album, named after Frick Park in Pittsburgh, was the first independent debut album to debut at number one on the Billboard charts in more than 16 years.

As his career grew, so did his artistic style, as he progressed into a more serious rapper, adapting themes of drug addiction (his 2014 mixtape Faces), sobriety (2015’s GO: OD AM), and his experiences with women and what it taught him (2016’s The Divine Feminine). His career was also dotted with trouble; he openly spoke about his years-long addiction to ‘lean’ and his struggles to maintain sobriety. His ex-girlfriend, singer Ariana Grande, spoke about how the addiction caused friction in their nearly two-year relationship, which ended in May.

“I am not a babysitter or a mother and no woman should feel that they need to be,” she wrote. “I have cared for him and tried to support his sobriety and prayed for his balance for years (and always will of course).”

Miller released his final album, Swimming, in August and was scheduled to start touring in support of the album in October. In his final tweet yesterday, Miller spoke about how excited he was to start touring.

Former labelmate Wiz Khalifa sent condolences to the late Miller and his family, while Chance the Rapper was visibly shaken by the news, as referenced by the tweets below.

Many more rappers and collaborators that Miller had worked with have poured out their respects to him and to his family. The Los Angeles Coroner’s Office will handle the investigation into his death.

Chris Bullock
Chris Bullock
Before joining The Ball Out, Chris Bullock was part of SB Nation's Swish Appeal for nearly three years, covering everything women's basketball. Chris has had the honor of doing live coverage of the WNBA Finals, the NCAA Tournament, and also was given his own column, "The Triple Double". A self-described "foodaholic", Chris lives in the San Diego area with his wife and two daughters, and also hosts his own podcast, "Conscious Cravings", where he speaks about his experience as a mental health advocate.

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