HAPPY SUNDAY UMAMI FAM!!!
The past couple of weeks have been crazy. We decided that today, with the passing of a true lyrical legend, is the time to sit back, open a beer, and write. If you're interested in what we've been up to, check out the "tickets" tab! VENTURE, our next event on Friday, September 28th, will make us writing less up to you. I'll even include this for you readers: We're taking on the Bandshell in December!
Friday, September 7th is the end of Malcolm McCormick's life, also known as Mac Miller. We're not writing to talk about how he died (suspected overdose), this blog is to tell the story of his life and the people he touched through music. Again, we're not talking about how he died and we're definitely not making a publicity stunt out of his death. Death is a time to remember someone for good, not bad, and not take his life for less than it was worth.
Born in Pittsburgh, Mac Miller started his rap career early. He put out his first album in 2012, Blue Slide Park, which became the first independent album to hit Billboard chart in more than 16 years. Guess how old he was? Only 19 fucking years of age. That's as old as a lot of teens, but those teens aren't writing albums, they're playing Fortnite.
He continued his career to write 4 more albums, his latest being "Swimming". Throughout his career, Miller had a number of problems to deal with. His girlfriend for two years, Ariana Grande, his addiction to lean and the tabloid headlines reading something new about him every day. As Mac put it, "It just seems exhausting to always be battling something... to always be battling for what your image is supposed to be". In the end, Mac showed who he was through music. Let's talk about our favorite album.
Divine Feminine, released in 2016, is hands down Mac Miller's best album. Featuring Kendrick Lamar, Anderson Paak, ex-girlfriend Grande and Ty Dolla Sign, Mac decided to do something different. He wrote a jazz album. Yup, we said it, it's a jazz album. Mac was never one to be like others. His rhymes were relatable, his beats were style changing, diverse and new to the rap game. In Divine Feminine, he gives rap a whole new light.
Speaking about giving rap a whole new light, we want to talk about another rapper who died way before he should've, XXXtentacion. For simplicity we're calling him X. X is near and dear to our hearts. Being from Soflo and being shot in the same area we drive, his death put a toll on Miami's rap community. What we find important, rather than how he died and when (June 18), is the amazing attitude he gave towards music. X made albums for himself, not the people, and people chose to understand him through it. His latest album before death, "?", was a masterpiece of rock, rap and Spanish music squished into one. Just months before being shot, X said "I try to live as long as I can for these kids and die a good death, because if I don’t live long, they not gonna want to live long". We hope everyone wants to live long, his death came way too short.
In the last couple of months, we've seen so many deaths yet seem to only talk about the greats (Mac and X). We should talk about their death and remember them for their great contribution to the rap community, yet we should realize more. People are overdosing on drugs and getting shot everyday. These problems that lie within the rap community lie outside of it. The fact is that death should never come so soon. Why is drugs taking over creatives? Why is death brought on people with notability?
This question lies in our heads for months now. We can't give an answer that'll change anything, rappers will still have an absurd amount of money they can choose what to do with. If they want drugs, they get them, if they want money, a motorcycle, they'll get it. How can we keep these celebrities level-minded? Money get's to their brain before smarts do, can we help them? We think not. They'll still keep doing what they want to, even if their manager (or mom) tells them not to.
What we need is a social movement towards death. It sounds crazy but it's true. Too many people are dying as too many people are being born in the world. Death should not be seen as such an easy part of life. In the 21st century, it can't be normal for rappers to die so young. Fuck saying rappers, anyone! Let's start thinking different. Let's be positive towards having the longest and best life possible. Let's take care of ourselves, make smart decisions and surround ourselves with people who see a future, not just today. Its what Mac, X, and all the other historic rappers would've wanted.
- Live Forever Larry Fisherman.