Twelve weeks after the untimely death of Mac Miller, friends of the late 26-year-old rapper are remembering his final days

By Dave Quinn
November 21, 2018 09:25 AM
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Months after the untimely death of Mac Miller, two friends of the late 26-year-old rapper are remembering his final days.

In a Rolling Stone profile published last week, rapper Ty Dolla $ign and bassist Thundercat shared candid memories of their last encounters with Miller — who was found dead in his Studio City, California, home on Sept. 7 from what the coroner’s office later determined was an accidental overdose of fentanyl, cocaine and alcohol.

They described Miller, whose birth name was Malcolm James McCormick, as being in a positive place in the weeks leading up to his death.

“He was in good spirits,” Ty Dolla $ign, 33, told the publication, explaining that the two had spent the day working on a joint project at the Chalice Recording Studios in Los Angeles just two weeks prior. “He had everybody in the room dying laughing.”

That day, Ty Dolla $ign also introduced Miller to Fifth Harmony‘s Dinah Jane. She was apparently taken aback by Miller’s personality. “[Dinah] didn’t think he was gonna be that cool,” Ty Dolla $ign said. “But he was super cool. I’m like, ‘Yeah, man. That’s Mac.’ ”

Ty Dolla $ign and Mac Miller
| Credit: Rodin Eckenroth/Getty; C Flanigan/FilmMagic

Thundercat, 33, saw Miller a week before his death when he helped celebrate the 12th birthday of Thundercat’s daughter Sanaa at his home. The trio’s festivities lasted an entire day, with Miller even treating Thundercat and his daughter to dinner.

“He refused not to celebrate it with us. He was like, ‘What do I get her?’ ‘I dunno, some Gucci flip-flops?’ ” Thundercat recalled to Rolling Stone, adding that Miller even hung on the couch watching Sanaa’s favorite TV shows with her through the night, occasionally stealing her phone to troll her social media feeds. “The happiness was there, man. I could see it in him. And it wasn’t fake.”

Ty Dolla $ign and Thundercat said they spoke to each other when they learned of Miller’s death. Ty Dolla $ign was on tour with G-Eazy and Lil Uzi Vert in Tampa at the time. He actually called Thundercat to break the sad news.

“I had to tell him the news and s—,” the “Or Nah” rapper said. “[Thundercat] immediately broke down.”

Thundercat
| Credit: Gus Stewart/Getty

Ty Dolla $ign said he initially learned of Miller’s death via text message. “I went outside of my bus to try to catch a breather,” he told Rolling Stone. “I was crying. And I don’t ever cry. Nobody sees me down like that. That was the hardest day ever. The first time I cried in years.”

All Thundercat could think about was Miller’s excitement for his new album, Swimming, his upcoming tour and music video for “What’s the Use?” they were planning to shoot in mid-September. “He just wanted people to know how hard he’d been working. Up until the last words we spoke to each other, it was nothing short of pure excitement,” Thundercat said. “He made me want to get on my s—. Because I could see it in him. It wasn’t him playing the game. It was him being 100 percent with it.”

On Oct. 31, Ty Dolla $ign and Thundercat were together alongside numerous musicians — including Action Bronson, Anderson.Paak, Chance the Rapper, Dylan Reynolds, Domo Genesis, Earl Sweatshirt, J.I.D, John Mayer, Miguel, Njomza, ScHoolboy Q, SZA, Travis Scott, and Vince Staples — to celebrate Miller’s legacy at his celebration of life concert benefitting the newly formed The Mac Miller Circles Fund.

The benefit concert, which was held at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, was live-streamed on a number of platforms, including Facebook, LiveXLive, TIDAL, Twitter, WAV and YouTube.

The Mac Miller tribute concert
| Credit: Christopher Polk

It kicked off with a collection of videos of Miller from his childhood, which highlighted his strong passion for music that began before he could even walk.

“The key word to this whole thing is ‘love,’ ” Travis Scott, 26, told the crowd. “I just want everybody to stay strong. If you have a friend with you, you should always tell them you love them.”

As the lights went down, Miller himself, from a previous recording, was heard thanking everyone for coming as his song “Best Day Ever” closed the event. The lineup of performers was then joined onstage by Miller’s tearful family, including mother Karen Meyers, father Mark McCormick and brother Miller McCormick.

The Mac Miller Circles Fund (MMCF) will support youth arts and community-building programs in Miller’s memory.