Film and TV

Reflecting on Mac Miller’s legacy: Five years after his untimely death and the brilliance of his Tiny Desk performance

Mac Miller’s legacy still reverberates through the music world five years after his untimely death, with many fans and collaborators still grappling with the loss of the talented rapper.

As we approach the five-year anniversary of Mac Miller’s untimely passing, the music community still mourns the rapper’s loss. Miller’s death from an overdose in 2018 left a significant impact on his fans and those who knew him personally, including his ex-girlfriend, Ariana Grande. Despite moving on to other relationships, Grande continues to pay tribute to Miller in subtle yet heartfelt ways.

On the 10th anniversary of their 2013 collaboration, “The Way,” Grande took to Instagram to honour Miller’s legacy by posting about their joint effort and writing, “I love you.” While Miller’s absence is felt deeply, his music continues to resonate with his fans. One of his most memorable live performances was his 2018 Tiny Desk set, where he showcased tracks from his album, Swimming, for the first time in front of an audience.

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Miller’s demeanor shifted during the performance, showcasing a reflective and introspective side that was less boisterous than his typical stage persona. Accompanied by a string quartet and pianist, Miller performed “2009,” a track that reflected on his journey’s highs and lows thus far. The lyrics conveyed a sense of wisdom and maturity beyond his 26 years of age. Miller’s ability to consistently release quality rap records over the years kept him in the conversation with other young hip-hop artists. His 2011 album, Blue Slide Park, even reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200, a remarkable achievement for an independently distributed debut album.

For his Tiny Desk performance, Miller invited frequent collaborator Thundercat, who graced the series the year before and joined Miller on tour that fall. Thundercat’s deep bass line on “What’s The Use?” and dazzling shaker routine added an extra layer of energy and excitement to the set. While the Swimming iterations performed didn’t deviate much from the recorded versions, Miller’s lyrics seemed to be more accessible under live instrumentation.

As we approach the five-year anniversary of Mac Miller’s death, it’s a time to reflect on his impact on the music industry and the legacy he left behind. The Tiny Desk performance serves as a testament to Miller’s talent, creativity, and lasting influence on the hip-hop genre.

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