Remembering Mac Miller
Poignant, beautiful and bittersweet, Mac Miller: A Celebration of Life was a fitting send-off for one of hip-hop’s most experimental young stars. The tribute was hosted by the Mac Miller Circles Fund and featured performances from Travis Scott, Chance The Rapper and SZA, along with close Miller collaborators like Earl Sweatshirt and Schoolboy Q. There were tender moments, like Vince Staples hugging Miller’s mom, Karen Meyers, and countless photos documenting Mac’s life.
One of the night’s most touching points arrived during the middle of the concert when a memorial video debuted featured various musicians and celebrities sharing their fond memories of Mac. The common theme of each message was the profound effect the Swimming rapper’s kind words and presence had on his peers. “You don’t really understand how loving and how humble a person is once they’re gone, and once everyone you know that knows that person is saying the exact same things about him,” said Aminé. “I just don’t understand how someone could be like that always, just 24/7.” Read what other musicians like Donald Glover, Tyler, the Creator and Joey Bada$$ had to say as well.
“I want to rap to you real quick and take you back to 2011 when you came to the original D&D studios. I remember when you came in and you said, ‘Yo, where is the booth that Guru, Big L, and Biggie was at?’ I said, ‘It’s right here behind me down the hall.’ You said, ‘Can I go in there and just breathe the air? And I was I like, ‘Yeah go ahead.’ You said, ‘Can I turn the lights off?’ And I was I like, ‘Yeah, go ahead.’ And you turned the lights off, you were just like this, like just breathing the air and the energy. And I was like, ‘Man that’s dope that you were very, very taken by that energy that was there before you.'”
Tyler, The Creator
“Mac heard the worst joke I’ve ever said in my life in front of a group of people, and he was the only person in the room to give me a pity laugh. At that point, I knew that he was a great person. Rest in peace, brother.”
DJ Jazzy Jeff
“I remember the conversation that we had the first time that you came to London to do a sold out show and you were so hype, man. I was so happy for you. I want to say, brother, you have touched so many people, including myself. I want to thank you for the advice that you gave me. Not that I gave you. That you gave me.”
“Wish we got a chance to chop it up before you left us, but you know you here in spirit. I just appreciate the support you gave me early on, way before like all the music and everything popped off. You just been here since day one and we miss you. You know, say what’s up to A$AP Yams.”
“I been listening to Mac since I was 16, 15. A lot of people don’t know this, but Mac actually gave me one of my first big opportunities, one of my first big shots in the game — I remember I was 17, and I can’t forget the date, April 25, 2012. Before my first mixtape came out and everything. Mac Miller reached out to my manager and he asked for us to open up. It’s so funny, because it was a school night! We were still in high school at the time. I don’t think a lot of people understood that. We literally left school that day and we went to this Mac Miller show to open up for him for 5,000 kids. I just remember all of us, we felt like we could take over the world after that.”
“I remember every day leading up the Swimming tour, me and Mac would talk about, ‘Man, I’m trying to get big. I’m trying to get muscles and six-pack abs.’ The whole shebang bang, for his tour for you guys, and we kept talking about workout regiments and diets and stuff like that and every day I’d ask him, ‘How close are you to becoming the white Terry Crews?’ And he’s like, ‘I’m every day I’m getting closer, I’m getting closer. I’m almost there I got one ab today. I saw it today.’ And he was getting so excited to give you guys his best. He was striving for perfection, just like in his music.”
“I met Mac on Twitter. He hit me back and let me know that nothing is ever a setback. Everything you’re doing is a part of your story. Everything you’re going through is another song for you to write and I took those words and carried them on my back ‘til the day that I met him and I still carry them. So for that, thank you Mac. We love you and you inspire people beyond what you will ever know.”
“You did things for me like, friends, people never done for me. You gave me opportunities people never would give me. I just want to say thank you. You’re a great person. You’re a one of a kind person. You’re like Superman.”
“He motivated me in ways that I didn’t know was possible. He was such a bright spark, every time you saw him, interacted with him he was just like so excited, excitable about music. You could hear it in everything he did.”
“Mac, why would you leave me with our lunatic trainer? We had a system going, man. I would come I would talk the whole back half of your workout. You would talk the front half of my workout. We work out for half the time, no results, no sweat, though. Come on man, I miss my partner. Love, always love.”
“Thank you Mac for sharing your soul and beauty with us, especially your love of music. Thank you for sharing that with us. You were a really necessary and intelligent light and I’m really glad that we met.”
“I just want to say thank you for everything you did for me and my personal life. Every time you were there for me to listen. There for me to give your side, your perspective. Thank you on behalf of everyone who loves you, for your music and your energy that you gave to the universe. It is appreciated and it always will be.”
“I think that I always knew that you were a very kind, loving person, period. I always knew that. You always hear that about people or experience that with someone, but you don’t really understand how loving and how humble a person is once they’re gone, and once everyone you know that knows that person is saying the exact same things about him. Mac I look around and every other artist that I know or that I see is saying the exact same things I’m saying about you. You were always so loving and so kind and so humble. I just don’t understand how someone could be like that always, just 24/7. That’s what so beautiful about it. You make me want to be a better person.”
“Mac, I miss you so much man. I love you. You were the funniest dude in the room, always. You made everybody laugh so much. It was incredible to see.”
“Who am I supposed to put on Maybach Music 6 now? But I guess we’ll link up at another time and do it, man. We miss you though, forever.”
“I’ve been thinking about you a lot. Like almost every day, at least once. Does that mean I love you? Maybe. Maybe.”
“It’s all your recent music. You were really using your voice, man. It’s amazing. The world misses you, bro. Rest easy.”
“Remember doing a song with you… Hearing your voice and hearing you spitm I remember knowing back then, I was looking for something to listen to. If you’re a Mac Miller fan, family member, anything, go back and listen to him.”
Syd and The Internet
“Malcom was a great, great friend to all of us. Glad you guys are celebrating his life. We’re going to keep doing that every day. We miss him.” (Rolling Stone)
Musicians played Miller's songs and songs about him.
For example, John Mayer played a cover of Miller's "Small Worlds," and even kept the late artist's voice on part of the backing track.
Vince Staples performed his song with Miller, "Rain," and Miller's voice was heard rapping the lyrics.
Anderson .Paak drummed and sang "Dang!" – even though he knew it would "hurt" to play his song with Miller.
Miguel duetted with Miller's disembodied voice on "Weekend."
Ty Dolla $ign, who later jumped into the crowd and slammed an electric guitar, sang his Miller collaboration "Cinderella."
Njomza sang a new tune that seemed to be about Miller, with lyrics that likely referenced his latest album "Swimming," and included lyrics like "I call your name and hear no sound."
ScHoolboy Q played "THat Part," which, he says, was partially written when Miller was in the studio with him.