Four years after his death, Mac Miller’s music still touches the lives of many

Jan. 19, 2022 would have been Mac Miller’s 30th birthday, and to commemorate him, I compile my favorite songs of his and discuss the history of his career


Posted on his Instagram in 2018, lighthearted photos with clever captions dominated Miller’s social media presence.

On Sept. 7, 2018 police were dispatched to respond to a distress call by Mac Miller’s personal assistant and sober coach, who discovered his body. Mac died of a drug overdose at age 26. After his death, Miller’s music streams skyrocketed by 970%. He now sits at 17,380,747 monthly listeners on Spotify alone.

At the start of his career, Miller signed with Rostrum Records in 2010. With this label, Miller released  K.I.D.S., his first mixtape, and Best Day Ever. “Donald Trump” was Miller’s first song on the Billboard Hot 100, which was featured on Best Day Ever. Miller left Rostrum Records in 2014 after his contract expired and signed to Warner Bros Records months later. 

Within his short-lived career, Mac released 11 albums: K.I.D.S, Blue Slide Park, Best Day Ever, Macadelic, Watching Movies with the Sound Off, Delusional Thomas, Faces, GO: OD AM, The Divine Feminine, Swimming, and Circles. Of these albums, six of them made it to the Billboard top five.

In his music, Mac passionately spoke of love, drugs, addiction, and his life stories. Miller struggled with addiction for years. This eventually lead to his death.

I think one of the reasons Mac Miller has become so popular is because many people relate to him. At the beginning of his career, Miller rapped about young-spirited things like Kool-Aid, pizza, shoes, and his adolescent tale; as he matured his music did as well. Miller began to write music about his struggles with addiction, mental health, failed relationships, and his current mental state. Many feel as though they grew up with Mac and his music, making his death all the more heartbreaking to his fans.

One of my favorite songs of his is “Congratulations”. It was released in 2016 and featured on the album The Divine Feminine. The song tells a story of a girl he has a heavy history with. He loves this woman and will wait for her, as she is, in his mind, divine. He looks back at his adolescent relationship in which he thought he would be with her forever.

“That’s Life” was released in 2019 and features Sia. Miller sings about his life and how he uses addiction as a crutch to make it easier. It includes upbeat soulful music paired with lyrics detailing his life as a rapper and how it isn’t as glamorous as it may seem.

“Knock Knock” was released in 2010 on K.I.D.S. A listener can clearly hear in the lyrics that this was one of Miller’s earlier songs. Nonetheless, the chorus is extremely catchy and the music is upbeat and cheery.

“2009” was released in 2018 in the album Swimming. It’s a raw song, telling of Miller’s addiction, mental health, and his brief moments of sobriety. Listening in 2022 and knowing how Miller passed, it is hard to listen to as it is emotional and painfully foreshadowing in a way,.

“The Best Day Ever” was released in 2011 and is often said to be his first big song. It tells the story of his early presence in rap and immaturity.

Miller has made a huge impression on the music and rap industries. His legacy and impact on others will continue long into the future.