• Ian Romaker

Mac Miller's Legacy & Posthumous Releases

Updated: Jan 23

The death of Mac Miller in September 2018 shook the hip-hop world to its core. Due to an accidental overdose of fentanyl laced cocaine and a series of unfortunate events, Mac succumbed at the tragic age of 26. Just recently, a 3 track EP prod. By BADBADNOTGOOD surfaced on the Internet.

Mac’s first posthumous record to hit the airwaves, “Benji the Dog” was recorded in 2015 with a sample from Valerie Simpson’s 1972 song, “Benjie.”

This song is certainly bitter sweet for hip-hop enthusiasts but rather than focus on the despair that came along with Mac Miller’s passing it is important to realize all that he brought to the world.

Not only just a force within the game of hip-hop, he was a person who empowered every soul that ever came in contact with him. Never one to make others feel sorry for him, he constantly lifted the spirit of his counterparts through humor, collaborative energy and an outstanding demeanor.

“Benji the Dog” is a familiar song for those in touch with the discography of Mac Miller. It was originally slated to be on the GO:OD A.M. album with the title of, “That’s Life.” On this first posthumous track, just as he always did so well, he is able to intertwine struggle and triumph brilliantly.

On a song that sounds rather light and playful, he deals with much heavier ideas and situations that stretch far beyond the surface level. It is truly heartbreaking to hear the dark energy that surrounds this track. It was apparent that drugs could not entirely drown out his pain and emptiness but it is never more apparent than in this song.

Throughout his career Mac Miller was curious, kind and highly revered. He showcased terrific progression and introspection as he climbed the ranks of hip-hop lore and consistently reinvented himself through sonic and thematic experimentation.

Since his demise, there have been a few glimpses of Mac Miller’s musical contributions. Another single to hit the airwaves since his passing is the record, “Time.” The song features Kali Uchis and sends the listener into a free space realm to explore the minds of these individuals. Uchis’ dreamy vocals let the audience enter a different type of continuum. Mac faces his inner demons head on within the song and addresses isolation issues. It is a very emotionally gripping record and one where Mac is raw, unguarded and open to vulnerability regarding his personal relationship issues, substance abuse and mental health burdens.

In January 2020, Mac Miller’s estate released his final album, Circles. This collection is certainly a tough listen as it deals with the Mac’s inner dealings and struggles to navigate through the music industry.

But all those big words ain't gon' get you paid
And those abstract ideas for sure won't get you laid

What is astounding about Mac Miller is the way he was able to make others feel so entirely amazing throughout his lifetime. Whether it be direct contact through knowing him or through any of the several mediums he expressed himself, his character was contagious and extremely poignant. Above all, he was unafraid to bare his entire soul for the world to hear and relate to. HIs emotional journey and brutal honesty throughout his lifetime speaks volumes to the type of person he was and infinite amount of talent he possessed.

His piano renditions of Billy Preston’s, “Nothing from Nothing” and “Dunno” at Spotify Studios in NYC are available online now. He also was featured in Alchemist’s “Bread EP Short Film” for a stint. He received a posthumous 2019 Grammy nomination for his album, “Swimming” and there is a project exclusively recorded with Madlib that will hit the airwaves one of these days. Until then, long live the one who always kicked incredibly dope shit, Malcolm McCormick.