for: Mac Miller
on: the 1-Year Anniversary of his Death
by: Cade Stone (a fan)
Malcolm James McCormick knew how to start an album.
Hallelujah — thank God I have a future / Praying I don’t waste it getting faded
Stage Name: Mac Miller; multi-platinum-selling emcee; Pittsburgh native; notable ex of pop star Ariana Grande; occasional drug addict and victim to fatal overdose one year ago as of September 7th of this year.
I know it’s been a minute since I been awake / Didn’t mean to cause you pain, I just needed to escape
I once listened to an artist and found him to be constantly evolving, like shedding sonic splices of a shifting self — I found it stamped on vinyl and etched into deep ruts reeking of 808 drums, two-point-five decades of agonizing and imperfect and teleologically hopeful therapy sessions, there ticking away for our listening pleasure.
The sun don’t shine, when I’m alone / I lose my mind and I lose control
If I’d stuck to framing this whole article as a Letter to Mac and had not gotten so depressed about it all, instead sticking to making a longer comparative-essay-as-letter effort (but why the need for coarse comparisons, why the clickbait) it would’ve been overwordily entitled:
to : MAC MILLER
from : ME, CADE STONE
on : THE ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF YOUR DEATH BY OVERDOSE
subtitle : “THE CRACKED BUT RADIANTLY REPIERCED ART OF A YOUNG MAN GONE TOO SOON — aka “WHICH OF MAC MILLER’S FINAL ALBUMS IS THE MOST HOPEFUL AND MIGHT IT BE THE DEFIANT HEDO-NIHILISTIC DAYDREAM OF ‘WATCHING MOVIES’?”
an ODE; or GOODBYE MAC
My regrets look just like texts I shouldn’t send / And I got neighbors, they’re more like strangers / we could be friends / I just need a way out of my head / I’ll do anything for a way out of my head.
Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner investigation: Cause of death found to be a catastrophic overdose on the evening of 09.07.18; victim: male, Caucasian, 5’7”; toxicological reaction stemming from fentanyl, cocaine, ethanol (as well as hopes, doubts, a plethora of personal pathologies — but those show up elsewhere).
I found his unceasing etches to be endlessly inspiring, his ever-sloughing snakeskin to be forever shifting towards something More, Bigger, Honester.
I occasionally miss him very much.
I’m sicker than a biohazard psychopathic murderer / speak to Jews in German words I go to church with burglars — if you count Delusional Thomas as canon (less an album than a drug-addled ketamine spiral of a mixtape framed as an alter-ego’s manifesto) — and it might be better not to, for the sake of this PG-13 (at best) publication and for gentle psychological continuity besides, free of pesky lingering questions about selfhood and the brutal refractions of hard drugs. Did you like ‘GO:OD AM’?
I wonder if Mac was haunted by who he was on drugs and who he was, himself; sober and shaking. I wonder if he ever worried that his most brilliant lyrical contortions were always conjured in the haze of heroin. I wonder if he ever stopped running, if he ever turned around. I wonder what he thought of his youthful breakout pop-rap single ‘Donald Trump’ at the time of his death. I wonder how he felt about Ariana and Pete Davidson’s notorious (not yet imploded) engagement the day he started the September bender that would be his last.
Maybe he winced when looking back on the long musical tumult of his past, the rarified records of his raptures.
Maybe he missed it, like pains that no longer lingered: the buoyant vocal lilt of his scraggly, uncertain youth — a boyish strain held high, nearly falsetto and deeply innocent, like pogo-sticking through a carnival on LSD.
Maybe he marveled at how compressing all the months and mixtapes lets you hear his voice sag over time, under the accretive weight of the years, the hard drugs, the anonymity lost and all the f*cking expectations; finally slouching into the slack drawl that he utilizes later in his expiring life, slanting through his rhymes and somehow drawled in permanent diagonal like half the face of a stroke victim — seemingly hating his natural voice to the point of warping, distorting, performing it away, holding his darkest thoughts at arm’s length through eerie vocal mincing like aural oven mitts; always splicing at his worst urges and darkest unanswerable thoughts at alter-ego’s edges, his ragged umbridges.
I wonder how Mac’s doing now; how he sounds.