My Personal Tribute to Mac Miller

 PC: GUNNER STAHL

PC: GUNNER STAHL

It’s post-summer 2010 and aside from stepping into my senior year of high school, it felt like the first time I was really officially stepping into myself too. Junior year was the first year I felt like I really was making a solid group of friends that welcomed me and allowed me to explore not being so damn shy and quiet. Senior year I was just ready to have fun and allow people to enjoy the girl I really was (am).

“Class of 2011” written on my blue mustang, windows down (a must when cruising in Nogi), and always excited to bump “Nikes On My Feet” a million and one times, I was ready to get my last year of high school over with.

Around this time I was getting more and more into music. It was a time I really needed an escape from wondering where my dad was or when would be the next time I’d see him. It was an escape from all the issues I had as a teen at home and at school. I had one group of friends from my class who were heavily into EDM and trance music. My other group of friends (the homies that felt more like home) were musicians and artists of their own, into Hip Hop and reggae.

This era of music was lit for someone like me. I was the teen that’d spend hours and hours browsing Limewire, HotNewHipHop, and Datpiff just to be the first to find the next mixtape everybody wanted to bump or to be the first to discover everybody’s new favorite artist. Mac Miller, Wiz Khalifa, Waka Flocka, Big Sean, Curren$y, A$AP, Dom Kennedy, and Dizzy Wright were all on the come up and making waves.

I obviously became the one to ask for all the new music that came out and this followed me through my first couple years in college too. At the time you could ask me about leaked Tiesto, Avicii was coming up at the time too. You could also ask me how I liked Flockaveli or most importantly (or rather… most impactfully), how I liked K.I.D.S.

Mac won me over as a fan in 2009 immediately after The High Life. I remember when I discovered him thinking just how normal he looked. I’d see him and I’d see a kid just like me. Except he was making dope music and I was confident he was going to make it BIG. He had me shifting some gears in my mind about the possibilities in my own life. “I mean… if he could make it in music… I could possibly make it too? He is just like me,” I thought.

My friend Regina and I loved rapping over Mac Miller (and Wiz) lyrics and inspired us to take our fun to the next level by even freestyle battling each other in the car or via Facebook posts. It was so fun.

K.I.D.S. coming out on back to school month couldn’t have been more perfect for me. At a time where what I really needed to have fun and be a kid, Mac Miller’s music was almost the very reason why I did have fun. I look back in time now and I could confidently say that these were really the good times. Cruising with the homies, being around all my stoner friends and jammin’. Wiz and Mac were putting out great stoner music. And even though I was the only one of my friends who’d never smoked weed (and never would), I really didn’t need it to feel high. Cheesy but true; their music really moved me.

Man… K.I.D.S. really is a classic, huh? “Senior Skip Day,” “The Spins,” “Knock Knock,” “Kool Aid and Frozen Pizza.” The whole thing. Damn. He really had me living life like I had zero problems or stresses. Not a worry in the world. I was just a kid.

Summer 2011 rolls around and I experienced by far the most life changing summer ever. I turned to music as an escape even more.

Freshman and Sophomore year of college I kept exploring myself as a young adult, except now I was (am) fatherless.

Best Day Ever comes out, again at seemingly the most perfect time, and at the time I was living at the dorms. Directly across the hallway was a new friend of mine, Kevin. I knew he was going through some sh*t too. And we both loved Mac Miller. I’ll never forget him replaying “BDE Bonus” over and over and over again. He had a pretty legit stereo system in his small room too, so it was loud. Everyone hated it. And I never got sick of it.

It was vibes.

Sophomore year I move into an apartment for the first time with my best friend Kayla. It was dope (literally haha)! My best friend Lance would come over all the time and when he did, we’d get high and just listen to music, watch music videos the whole time. Yes, this was my first time smoking weed. Of course we had to play Mac, Wiz, A$AP, Cudi, Dizzy Wright, Schoolboy Q, and artists of the like.

Then came Blue Slide Park, Watching Movies with the Sound Off, and Mac went off from there. He became the artist I knew he would from day one.

And all along, he stayed true and honest with his music. All along his journey and all he shared of it, was exactly what I needed in my journey. And I feel many, many others of my generation feel the exact same way.

Mac’s passing hit home because in a sense… Mac was home. So many memories with his music that bring me to a sense of home.

Rest easy homie. We'll meet and talk in Heaven.