Miller had been open about his addiction troubles and drug use throughout his career. He was also slated to head out on the Swimming Tour in October. We sifted through Mac Miller's decorated discography in an attempt to come up with a list featuring some of the best lyrics to define the Blue Slide Park rapper's career.
"Take my time to finish, mind my business / A life ain't a life 'til you live it / I was digging me a hole big enough to bury my soul / Weight of the world, I gotta carry my own / My own, with these songs I can carry you home / I'm right here when you're scared and alone." - "2009"
"2009" is fan-favorite from what would be Mac's last full body of work with Swimming, which he released back in August. The soft piano-laden tune finds Miller in self-reflection, examining his career starting with 2009, the last year of his life before all of the fame came. The Los Angeles transplant then transitions into the lessons he's learned throughout the trials and tribulations of his career. With the second verse, Malcolm touches on having to pull himself out of the mental abyss he'd been nestled into at various points of life and how creating music aids him and his fans to keep moving forward.
"Only 18 but I had my own business / Then I got fame like, 'What the f--k is this?' / Whole bunch of cameras, fake a-- bitches / Everyone around wanna treat me all different / Oh I'm cool, cause I got money / Back in high school none of these hoes was tryna f--k me." - "Matches"
The first deep cut from Mac's 2013 Watching Movies with the Sound Off sophomore album, "Matches," teams Mac with TDE's Ab-Soul. The pair rhyme about their experiences of being forced into the fire pit of fame too quick for their own good on the ID Labs-produced track. The Big L savant took the baton for the tune's second verse, where he runs through being a confident kid during his childhood and all of the career possibilities if rapping wasn't in the cards. Mac admits to not knowing how to react to his newfound fame when everyone began treating him differently because of his social status.
"Dealing with everybody's opinion, tryna to do me / Only down one, I'm in the final shooting threes / Like I don't give a f--k, music we f--k and switch the position up / We love the things that keep on bringin' out the kids in us / Been workin' all my life to do some different stuff and people have the nerve to say I'm young and haven't lived enough." - "Family First"
Back in 2011, Mac launched the "Road 2 a Million Followers" campaign which had Miller unleashing a fiery track for every 100,000 followers he'd accumulate on the journey. "Family First" was released when the Pittsburgh-bred rapper eclipsed the 500,000-follower mark. Mac teams with a pair of legends in Talib Kweli and 9th Wonder behind the boards. Plagued by a noticeably more hoarse rapping tone than usual, the former Rostrum Records artist begins explaining to listeners that he plans on taking several risks with his career in the future, which he followed through with years later.
"Don't you ever wanna hide away/ Poseidon triumph in the eyes of rain / Won't give a f--k about tomorrow if I die today/ I'll greet the devil with a smiling face/ S--t, that God fellow may reside in space." - "The Star Room"
Mac kicks off his sophomore LP by looking inward into the depths of his psyche. The introspective Earl Sweatshirt-produced tune finds Miller adopting his menacing alter-ego of Delusional Thomas. He admits to being trapped inside his own mind and that using drugs has continued to backfire in life. McCormick touches on death -- which he did a lot in his music -- and says he would be okay with his life if he happened to pass away and greet the devil with a smile across his face.
"I'm comin', knockin' on your door / Well, I'ma, I'ma maintain, I'm stayin' so high / Put the ladder all the way up 'til we touching the sky / And you know you're dead wrong, you're in love with a lie / All I, all I, all I wanna do is free your mind / We don't see no lines, we don't color inside." - "Ladders"
"Ladders" serves as the midway point of Mac's latest studio album Swimming. Used as a metaphor, the ladder symbolizes Miller ascending through his life's journey. Here, "I'm stayin' so high" could serve as a double entendre with Mac climbing the ladder higher while remaining very under the influence of drugs.
"Can you please help me find my friend / I'll give you anything you need / Multiplied by ten / I heard he moved to a place where the time don't end / You don't need money / All you got is time to spend / Life is short, don't ever question the lengths." - "REMember"
Miller handles the production for the tribute track dedicated to his fallen friend. Reuben Eli Mitrani was close with Mac for over a decade prior to his 2012 passing while studying abroad in Switzerland. The "REM" capitalization commemorates Reuben's initials on the somber song's title. Malcolm contributed to Reuben's legacy by naming his REMember Music label after him in 2013. Mac pleads with whoever he may be addressing on "REMember" to help him locate and reunite with his old pal.
"No matter where life takes me, find me with a smile / Pursuit to be happy, only laughing like a child / I never thought life would be this sweet / It got me cheesin' from cheek to cheek."- "Best Day Ever"
"Best Day Ever" kicks off Mac's 2011 bubbly mixtape of the same name. The joyful track sets the tone for what's to come on the rest of the project. Mac wants listeners to always cast a happy and positive outlook onto every situation possible. Miller's infectious hook reminds himself to always try to capture the joy he had as a child when viewing the world. The track's touching visual features Mac as a child rapping along to Sugar Hill Gang's "Rapper's Delight."
"And motherf--kers think they know me, but they never met the kid / Style come with excellence and money make benevolence / Irrelevant for the f--kers who never been intelligent / I kill my Henny, break the bottle for the hell of it / Tell a bitch that she better bring a friend / And if she want an autograph she better bring a pen." - "Donald Trump"
A hip-hop record dropping in 2018 named after Donald Trump would have a totally different meaning behind it compared to Mac's 2011 anthem. Trump used to be name-dropped on rap songs dating back to the '90s as someone who maintained a notoriously wealthy lifestyle in the public eye. Miller rides the Sap production with an earworm of a hook and a dazzling second verse taking aim at his detractors. The president unfathomably referenced the song named after him multiple times on Twitter in the past. "Little Mac Miller’s next album may bomb. He can’t use my name again for sales," Trump wrote in 2013.
"My pen game is something these motherf--kers have never seen / All City Champion everybody is second string / No need to testify (testify) for the best is I (best is I) / And anybody in my way goin’ to be left to die." - "Frick Park Market"
"Frick Park Market" served as the lead single to Mac Miller's Blue Slide Park debut album and is actually named after a deli in the neighborhood where Mac grew up in Pittsburgh. The solo effort notched McCormick his lone No. 1 album on the Billboard 200, becoming the first indie project to do so in 16 years. Larry Fisherman references his lethal pen game that led to so many blistering rhymes as the top MC in his city.
"To everyone who sell me drugs / Don't mix it with that bulls--t / I'm hoping not to join the 27 club / Just want the coke dealer house with the velvet rug / F--k the world, there's no one else but us." - "Brand Name"
An extremely haunting and eerie feeling awaits listeners who revisit "Brand Name" off of Mac's third album, GO:OD AM, following his devastating death. Miller speaks directly to his drug dealers, asking them to not mix whatever he purchases with something fatal. Next, he painfully voices his hopes to avoid the "27 club" that many famed celebs have unfortunately found themselves grouped into. That list includes Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse, Jimi Hendrix and more.