Pittsburgh rapper Mac Miller has reportedly died at the age of 26, according to TMZ.
While details on the original report are sparse, TMZ does note that Mac, born Malcolm James McCormick in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, apparently died of a drug overdose. As a rapper, Mac was open with his struggles regarding drug use and depression, which often inflected his work with pensive, occasionally very dark vibes, such as on Watching Movies With The Sound Off.
However, in more recent years, his music had taken on a more optimistic outlook, such as on The Divine Feminine and his most recent project, Swimming, released only weeks ago. Unfortunately, although he did adopt a more positive bent musically, it seems there were issues with sobriety; Mac was arrested for drunk driving in May of this year, prompting his recent ex, Ariana Grande, to express concern over his habits.
The rapper was notable for having the first independently-distributed debut album to chart since Tha Dogg Pound’s Dogg Food released in 1995. From his earliest days rhyming alongside fellow Pittsburgher Wiz Khalifa, Mac was known for a nimble flow and witty humor, which earned him placement on the coveted XXL Freshman cover in 2011. From there, his career trajectory seemed to rise endlessly, even as he experimented with new sounds and styles and began collaborating with the most revered musicians of the generation, including Thundercat, Anderson .Paak, Vince Staples, and more. His death leaves a sizable void in the landscape of creative, detail-oriented, fun-and-free hip-hop music, and he will be missed.