Hip-Hop

Travis Scott, SZA, John Mayer & More Honored Mac Miller at 'Celebration of Life' Concert

Chance the Rapper
Scott Dudelson/Getty Images

Chance the Rapper performs onstage during the Mac Miller: A Celebration of Life benefit concert on Oct. 31, 2018 in Los Angeles.

Mac Miller was remembered Wednesday night (Oct. 31) with a special all-star tribute which brought together some of the biggest names in hip-hop and the wider music world, from Travis Scott, to SZA, Anderson .Paak, Miguel, Chance the RapperJohn Mayer, Vince Staples, Schoolboy Q and more for a very special three-hour memorial at Los Angeles' Greek Theatre.

The sold-out evening kicked off with a video tribute to Miller's life, which showed him as a toddler strumming a guitar, then opening a keyboard as a child and later playing piano, intermixed with various happy birthday celebrations and a loving montage of some of the rapper's key musical career moments. The concert opened with a somber, acoustic performance of "Come Back to Earth" by Dylan Reynolds, who told the crowd he'd been best friends with Mac since they were five years-old.

With the house band providing a chill vibe, J.I.D. lifted spirits after noting that he was supposed to be on tour with Miller right now with a hyped run through "Lauder," followed by Njomza debuting a new song in which she sang "Supposed to swim, but you dove in, and then you drowned/ I miss you, I do/ It's true/ Left me confused," then leading the crowd in a chorus of "I miss you." That was followed by performances from Domo Genesis, Chevy Woods, Action Bronson with Alchemist and Ty Dolla $ign thumping his bass and crooning an emotional version of his collab with Mac, "Cinderella," before smashing his instrument and jumping into the crowd for a hyped "Blasé."

Other highlights included Mayer ripping some blues off for a cover of Miller’s “Small Worlds" (after he joined funk bassist Thundercat for a ripping jam), Juicy J making the crowd bounce with "Bandz A Make Her Dance," .Paak reminiscing about all the good times with Miller and how the rapper gave him his first gold single with the high-energy "Dang!," and then taking a seat behind the drums for the jazzy jam. Well into the second hour, Miguel bopped around to Miller's vocals on “Weekend,” busting out his smooth chorus vocals on their 2015 collab.

In a moving video montage, artists including Lil Wayne, A$AP Ferg, Joey Bada$$, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Aminé, Pharrell, DJ Premier, Dev Hynes, Dillon Francis, The Internet, Rick Ross, G-Eazy, Pusha T, Jason Sudeikis, Casey Veggies and Tyler, The Creator shared some of their favorite memories of Mac, from his boundless enthusiasm for making music, to his lifelong love of hip-hop and his generosity in putting on other artists early in their careers. "Thank you, Mac, for sharing your soul and your beauty with us, especially your love of music. Thank you for sharing that with us. You were ere a really necessary and intelligent light and I'm really glad we met," said Donald Glover, in one of the most emotional tributes.

Rae Sremmurd moved the crowd with "No Type" and "Powerglide," Earl Sweatshirt performed “New Faces V2," while SZA slinked through "Love Galore" and "The Weekend," with Chance The Rapper helping to close things down with a meditative "Blessings" and a bouncing "Work Out." Travis Scott brought it home with "Goosebumps" and some words of wisdom. "To all Mac's fans just know that you kept this whole thing going...we all know Mac is watching over us...I just want everybody to stay strong. If you have a friend with you, just always tell 'em you love them. Always give your mama a kiss. Always give your dad a hug. No matter if you're mad at somebody, the next day check on 'em, it don't matter. Everybody is somebody. We're all one, no matter their skin color, their hair, if you're a rapper, a basketball player. The key word to this whole motherfucking shit is love."

The evening ended with an unreleased song featuring Miller at a white piano singing a song about slowing down and smelling the flowers. "Everybody is rushing, why aren't we taking our time," he sings in a raspy voice. "I just keep waiting for another open door...don't keep it all in your head/ The only place that you know nobody will ever see."

The late rapper’s “Celebration of Life” tribute was live-streamed from the Greek, and raised funds for the newly launched Mac Miller Circles Fund, which supports the enrichment of art programs for the youth and various community building endeavors in the artist’s memory. The show also featured a moment of silence led by Apple Music's Zane Lowe for the victims of the synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, with the DJ asking the crowd to give props to Miller's friends, family and team for putting the special event together, urging them to donate to the Circles Fund. "Mac had an uncanny ability and a deep commitment to bringing together people from all walks of life through his words, his actions and his art," said Lowe. 

The Pittsburgh rhymer (born Malcolm James McCormick) died Sept. 7 at the age of 26.

Watch clips from Mac Miller’s Celebration of Life concert below.