September 23, 2018

Troubled Rapper Mac Miller Dead at 26

Photo from IMDb

Rapper Mac Miller, who died Sept. 7 of an apparent drug overdose at 26, will be laid to rest in his native Pittsburgh this week following a Jewish funeral service. Born Malcolm James McCormick, he is Jewish on his mother’s side and was raised Jewish.

“I always felt that Mac and I had a similar style, and I was happy that he embraced being Jewish, as there wasn’t really anyone at the time trying to make Judaism cool,” fellow Jewish rapper Rami Even-Esh, a.k.a. Kosha Dillz wrote in a letter to Variety.

A few years later, he headlined a festival called Paid Dues, where I was also on the bill…it was a massive moment for me, as I was finally feeling acceptance from the hip-hop community,” he continued. “[The] festival fell on the holiday of Passover, so I decided to make my merch tent an area for a traditional Passover seder. I even brought a bottle of Manischewitz grape juice just for Mac. He seemed to appreciate the gesture, and the importance of the holiday, and we filmed a video together to mark the moment.”

A resident of Studio City, Miller had a history of substance abuse, and it reportedly caused the end of his nearly two-year relationship with pop star Ariana Grande. They broke up in May, after he was charged with DUI following a car accident in the San Fernando Valley.

“I am not a babysitter or a mother and no woman should feel that they need to be,” Grande wrote on Twitter. “I have cared for him and tried to support his sobriety and prayed for his balance for years (and always will of course) but shaming/blaming women for a man’s inability to keep his s— together is a very major problem.”

Grande, now engaged to “Saturday Night Live” star Pete Davidson, got flak for her words, but Miller’s friend Shane Powers defended her on his “The Shane Show” podcast. “There was no one … more ready to go to the wall for him when it came to him being sober, and she was an unbelievably stabilizing force in his life,” Powers said of Grande. “She was deeply helpful and effective in keeping Mac sober and helping him get sober and she was all about him being healthy, period, in this area of this life.”

At the time of his death, Miller, who released his fifth studio album “Swimming” in August, was preparing for a U.S. national tour that was to launch Oct. 27.