Mac Miller (1992-2018) was an American rapper, singer and songwriter and was considered to be one of hip-hop’s biggest talents. But where did he grow up?
Mac Miller grew up in the Point Breeze residential neighbourhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with his parents and older brother. He was a graduate from the same school as Wiz Khalifa, Taylor Allderdice High School, and began rapping as a student.
Read on to learn more about Mac Miller’s early life and legacy.
The rapper was born Malcolm James McCormick on January 19, 1992 to Mark McCormick, an architect, and Karen Meyers, a photographer.
The family of four, Mac had an older brother named Miller, lived in the Point Breeze neighbourhood of Pittsburgh and were a multi-religious household. Whilst Mac’s Dad was Christian, which resulted in Mac attending a Catholic school, his mother was Jewish, and it was in a Jewish household that he was raised, with Mac having a Bar Mitzvah.
He was, instead, a gifted musician and obsessed with hip hop, having picked up his first instrument aged 6, when he started teaching himself the piano. He would later self-teach himself guitar, bass, and drums and picked up an interest in hip-hop from his older brother.
Pittsburgh Music Scene
At 15, Miller was really beginning to hone his craft. He told Wax Poetics, “I just really enjoyed writing and I enjoyed rapping. I fell in love with writing verses. I had this dresser in my basement, and it was filled with so many verses, it was ridiculous”.
He released a mixtape whilst still in school and played his first show aged 16 at a Pittsburgh bar called Moondog’s and recollected to Billboard that because he was so young, “my homies couldn’t even get in to see me”.
He ingratiated himself with Benjy Grinberg and Arthur Pitt from Pittsburgh label Rostrum Records, which he viewed as the “gatekeeper”. By the time he signed a deal with Rostrum in 2010, he’d known Grinberg and Pitt for three years and knew that he wanted to continue his career with the label.
It was after noticing a “maturation in his sound and approach to his music” that Grinberg decided to work with Miller on his upcoming mixtape ‘K.I.D.S.’, which was released in 2010. By this point Miller’s focus was firmly in the studio and he said “by the time I was seventeen, I started to get a little buzz, so I barely went to school”.
After graduating (just), Miller was able to throw all of his energy behind his music, gaining a following on social media. He began working on what would be his debut studio album ‘Blue Slide Park’ and remembered the attitudes towards his work at the time in an interview:
“‘Oh, Mac Miller is just some Internet White kid. He has YouTube views, but he can’t sell albums.’ I wanted to have an independent number one album; that’s what I wanted to do”.
So when the album dropped, topped the charts, and was a huge commercial success, Miller was unfazed. Over the next seven years, Miller would release a further five studio albums.
Mac Miller’s incredible life was cut short when the rapper accidentally overdosed and passed in September 2018.
He’d had big plans for the rest of the year and was working hard on his music, with plans to put out an album. His death caused devastation to those who knew him in life and through his music, but many found comfort in the posthumous release of his music.
Watch Mac Miller’s single ‘Good News’, released posthumously in January 2020, in the YouTube video below.