Rapper Mac Miller was found dead of an apparent overdose, Variety has confirmed. He was in his Studio City, Calif., home at about noon. His family released a statement about his death this afternoon. Mac was 26.
This comes just a few months after Miller wrapped his Mercedes SUV around a tree in a DUI hit and run situation. Police say Miller blew two times the legal limit and confessed to the situation when they arrived to his home.
The County of Los Angeles medical examiner said in a statement:
“In the late morning of Sept. 7, Malcolm McCormick (dob 1/19/92) was found unresponsive in his home located in the 11600 block of Valleycrest Drive in Studio City. Authorities were called and Miller was pronounced dead at the scene at 11:51 a.m. At this time, an autopsy is pending and a cause of death has not been determined.”
Miller had struggled with substance abuse in the past. Just last month, the Los Angeles Attorney’s Office officially charged the rapper with a DUI stemming from a car accident in May in the San Fernando Valley.
“Malcolm McCormick, known and adored by fans as Mac Miller, has tragically passed away at the age of 26,” reads the statement. “He was a bright light in this world for his family, friends, and fans.”
He had been open about his struggles previously, referencing drug abuse and death in his music, particularly in the deeply personal 2014 mixtape “Faces.” “I used to rap super openly about really dark s—,” he told Vulture in a profile that published on Thursday. “That’s what I was experiencing at the time. That’s fine, that’s good, that’s life. It should be all the emotions.”
While initially counted as a member of the frat-rap genre of the early 2010s, Miller’s career was defined by a refusal to fit in an artistic box. He transitioned from party rap to heady backpacker lyricism to jazz-inflected songwriting in his final two albums. To do so, he often turned away from guaranteed commercial success in favor of experimentation and craftsmanship in his work.
Miller, whose real name is Malcolm McCormick, had publicly struggled with substance abuse throughout his career, and had a well-publicized DUI arrest in May of this year. Miller had been open about his addiction issues in the past, and had discussed his dependence on lean — a combination of codeine and promethazine — extensively. After a years-long period of sobriety, he began to drink again. According to tweets from his ex-girlfriend Ariana Grande, his substance abuse was a reason the pair broke up after two years. “I am not a babysitter or a mother and no woman should feel that they need to be,” she wrote. “I have cared for him and tried to support his sobriety and prayed for his balance for years (and always will of course).”
Miller was born in Pittsburgh in 1992, and first broke onto the hip-hop scene when he began rapping at 14 under the alias EZ Mac. He quickly racked up an enormous following as a good-natured, preternaturally talented wordsmith while still in his teens, releasing a series of mixtapes.
Miller’s peers shared their memories and condolences of the rappers following his death. Chance The Rapper tweeted his condolences:
“Mac Miller took me on my second tour ever. But beyond helping me launch my career he was one of the sweetest guys I ever knew. Great man. I loved him for real. Im completely broken. God bless him.” “Rest in your peace Mac Miller,” wrote Solange Knowles. “Always exuded so much kindness and goodness. Than you for sharing your gifts with us all.”
In an interview with New York‘s Craig Jenkins, Miller frankly addressed his mental health and substance abuse issues:
“I really wouldn’t want just happiness, and I don’t want just sadness either…I don’t want to be depressed. I want to be able to have good days and bad days.”