Mac Miller, a hip hop artist who defied rap conventions over his prolific career, died Friday in his Los Angeles home. He was 26.
While the cause of death has not been officially disclosed, several outlets reported it as a drug overdose. “Malcolm McCormick, known and adored by fans as Mac Miller, has tragically passed away at the age of 26. He was a bright light in this world for his family, friends and fans,” Miller’s family said in a statement.
The Pittsburgh rapper had long struggled with substance abuse. In a 2015 interview with Billboard, Miller openly discussed his addiction: “I was doing a lot of drugs around that time [recording Faces], which is another difference now: I’m not doing as many drugs. It just eats at your mind, doing drugs every single day, every second. It’s rough on your body.”
Despite that, Miller was a prolific recording artist and producer, with five full-length albums and dozens of features to his name. He never stayed still, choosing over the course of his career the path less trodden—from his early frat-rap days to the nuanced, sophisticated songwriting of his later records. Swimming, which only dropped in August, garnered near-universal acclaim for its deft wordplay, jazzy compositions and complex instrumentation.
The world was only just beginning to know you, Mac. Rest in peace.
Watch a video of his final performance here: