Miller, a graduate of Taylor Allderdice High School, signed his first major-label deal at 18. His latest album, Swimming, was released last month. Miller, real name Malcolm James McCormick, was set to tour in support of the new record. This included a scheduled homecoming gig at the Petersen Events Center in November.
Miller’s career included numerous albums, mixtapes, a short-lived MTV reality show and spawned countless media profiles over the years. Here we’ve compiled a few examples of those, detailing the trajectory of his career.
He began gaining exposure around Pittsburgh by performing at small bars, which he says wouldn’t have been possible in a bigger city.
“In Pittsburgh, everybody gets a chance,” he says. “If you’re in New York, they might tell you, maybe could audition to open for an opening act.”
— TribLive, Aug. 12, 2010
Despite scoring the No. 1 spot on Billboard with his debut album, Blue Slide Park, Mac still considers himself an “underground rapper.” Considering that he’s an independent artist who gets little to no radio play, he’s kind of got a point. Even though the term “underground” has become somewhat obsolete in this Internet-driven era of music, having 3 million Facebook fans is no joke.
— Complex, Jan. 29, 2013
“When he started running for president I was like, ‘Oh, fuck—this is horrible, I have a fucking song with this dude’s name and now he’s being such a douchebag.'” Mac says.
— Complex, Jan. 31, 2013
The rap star, once known to his teachers at Allderdice High School as Malcolm McCormick from Point Breeze, has a big, full bucket. He’s toured around the world. Played major festivals like Coachella and Bonnaroo. Topped the album charts with “Blue Slide Park” (2011). Starred in his own MTV2 reality show. And, of course, he’s made millions of dollars. Last year, he signed a $10 million major label contract with Warner Bros Records.
— Post-Gazette, Sept. 17, 2015
His sophomore album, Watching Movies With the Sound Off, was the first indication that Mac was intent on redefining his artistic identity. Mac moved out to Los Angeles in 2012 and holed up in a home studio that ended up attracting a number of rappers. “I just moved out to LA to make music, because I had money and I wanted to try and have some adventure, and I ended up hanging around all these people and we ended up making music together,” he told The Come-Up Show in 2013.
— Complex, Nov. 8, 2016
Despite the soul-baring, Miller insists he’s in a great headspace these days. He’s been working out every morning (“It’s good for the chemicals in your brain. It puts my mind in the proper place to start the day”) and in the run-up to his new album, he’s returned — albeit cautiously — to social media. Much to his surprise, Miller says he’s found most people to be generally complimentary of his new music. “Though you can still find any narrative about yourself if you want on there,” he says of occasionally scrolling through Twitter or Instagram. “I can find people that say they like my old shit better. I can find people that say they wish I would just rap and not sing. I can find people that say they wish I would sing and not rap. All that shit is confusing. You might as well just figure out yourself what you wanna do.”
— Rolling Stone, Aug. 3. 2018
— Billboard, Aug. 15, 2018
Mac Miller perseveres: The rapper and musician knows you think he’s had a bad year, but it’s more complicated than that.
“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 … I can’t imagine not waking up sometimes and being like, ‘I don’t feel like doing shit.’ And then having days where you wake up and you feel on top of the world.”
— Vulture, Sept. 6, 2018