What The Final 12 Months Of Mac Miller's Life Looked Like

The story of Mac Miller's final months is a sad but familiar one to so many people who have struggled (or seen loved ones struggle) with drug abuse. After an on-again, off-again struggle with sobriety, he slipped up, overdosing sometime in the early morning hours of September 7, 2018.

His death took many by surprise, not because they believed he'd finally conquered his addictions, but because he seemed so full of life. As Rolling Stone reported, the night before the overdose, Miller had been happily celebrating the 12th birthday of the daughter of a friend — not exactly an example of superstar excess.

But Miller was never a typical superstar. As a white rapper, most assumed he would be the butt of jokes. Miller was reportedly bothered by frequent labeling early in his career as a "frat rapper," a label that wasn't just reductive, it was downright wrong. Despite the criticism, though, Miller worked hard and eventually overcame his critics' dismissal. But hard-fought popularity wasn't enough to save him.

The road to success and ruin

While it doesn't exactly take a lot of psychic ability to worry about the future of someone in the grip of addiction, Miller was one of many musicians whose music appeared to predict an early death. As The Blemish noted, one lyric was particularly chilling: "To everyone who sell me drugs/Don't mix it with that bullshit, I'm hoping not to join the twenty seven club." That reference — to the eerie number of musicians and other celebrities who've died at age 27 – ultimately didn't even apply to Miller. He didn't make it past 26.

Still, the musical legacy he leaves behind is an unusually rich one for such a young artist. The guy who'd been initially dismissed took it in stride and good humor and, in doing so, changed people's perception of him. As Diplo explained in Billboard, Miller "radiated positivity." For every lyric that foreshadowed his death, there are several that celebrated life.

In the year leading up to his death, Miller had been hard at work on his music, adding to an already prolific catalog. According to Rolling Stone, Miller was rehearsing for a tour promoting his well-received album Swimming, and was hard at work. He was also dealing with fallout from his breakup with Ariana Grande and a subsequent arrest for DUI. By all accounts though, the message Miller was putting out to those who knew him was that he was "in a good place."

Mac Miller's death and its aftermath

After Miller's September overdose came an outpouring of affection from celebs you might expect (like Chance the Rapper thanking him for helping launch his career) and those, like Elton John (per Rolling Stone), that may come as a surprise. Grande herself famously expressed her appreciation on the single "Thank U, Next," singing, "Wish I could say, 'Thank you' to Malcolm," referencing Miller's given name, "'Cause he was an angel."

But an overdose death is still an overdose and, in Miller's case, someone was going to pay. The BBC reports that three men have been charged for supplying Miller with the drugs that ultimately killed him. Reportedly, instead of the oxycodone Miller thought he'd been buying, the drugs he was sold instead contained lethal amounts of the much more powerful drug fentanyl.

Despite the Pittsburgh rapper's untimely death, Swimming, that album released just months before his death, has now gone platinum, says Hypebeast – and thanks to Miller's prolific output, fans can probably expect more releases in the future.