Mac Miller and the Fight for Sobriety

Malcolm James McCormick, better known by his stage name Mac Miller, 26-year-old Pittsburgh singer/songwriter was found dead in his San Fernando Valley home on Friday, September 7, from an apparent drug overdose.  

Many people are blaming Ariana Grande for his death, flooding her Instagram comments saying she didn’t help him, but Miller’s friend, Shane Powers, says she was the most supportive person in his sobriety.

Grande left because his addiction was too much for her and she felt the relationship was growing toxic.

Substance abuse and isolation played a huge part in his most recent album Swimming.  In his song “Small Worlds”, there is a line that says, “Keep my sh*t together/You never told me being rich was so lonely/Hard to complain from this five-star hotel.”  

He’s always had a problem with addiction. In 2013, he developed a lean (cough syrup and soda) problem. However, he stopped because he realized he was gaining weight and overall bad for his health.  He stated, “ The reality is I gained, like, 40 pounds when I was going to MTV and I didn’t want to be fat on national television. I just stopped….I don’t know how down and bad I was but I guess I was.”

After he stopped drinking lean, he had other addiction issues in 2015, but then he stopped and get sober after he realized it was affecting his career.  However, he didn’t go to rehab or seek any professional help. He just disappeared and focused on his music and health. In addition to the drug problem, he was depressed.

After him and Grande broke up in July of this year,  he got into a DUI accident and was charged with two misdemeanors.  He said it was a huge wake-up call, stating “I lived a certain life for 10 years and faced almost no real consequence at all.” He said it was one of the best things that could’ve happened. People were saying Grande was holding him together for too long and it wasn’t a good relationship for her.

In an interview from 2012, he said, “I’d rather be the corny white rapper than the drugged out mess who can’t leave his house… overdosing is just not cool, there’s no legendary romance. You don’t go down in history because you overdosed. You just die.”  In review, this is pretty ironic because he talks about being inside all day and getting high just to get high to “‘Well, I could just be high, and I could have a whole adventure in this room.’”

French Montana, the rapper best known for hits like “Unforgettable”, warned Miller, about his lean problem in the past.  Miller kind of just laughed it off and didn’t seem to care about his well-being or career.

Mac Miller wasn’t the first rappers to die of a drug overdose/abuse. Music fans lost A$AP Yams, Lil Peep, and Fredo Santana just in the past few years.

Celebrity overdoses are a touchy subject. Everyone posts all this “rip” stuff but when they see a homeless addict they call them “junkies” or “crackheads”. You either care about addicts or you don’t. You can’t pick and choose which ones to care about.  The real problem wasn’t that he was an addict, but it was that he had mental health issues and suffered depression without trying to get help.

Written by, Alexis Torres, Culture Editor          


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