Mac Miller’s death is the latest example of how society’s reaction to celebrity drug use is based on whether they feel entertained or threatened. To the casual listener, the Pittsburgh MC had a reputation of being a cool calmed good-natured funny dude who made dope music and wasn’t publicly known for any suspect behavior. But amongst his dedicated fans, Mac Miller’s drug use was common knowledge be that he alluded to in his music often. Yet few on the outside looking in could sense any real danger because he didn’t check the boxes of a stereotypical rapper who was often caught-on-camera-by-TMZ, drugged out celebrity.  Even when Mac expressed his sadness from a public heartbreak in interviews, many laughed while others shrugged it off like a typical celebrity break-up without thinking twice of any possible negative after-effects. After news spread of Mac Miller’s death from a drug overdose, it brought up a couple of senseless arguments that society needs to stop relying on:

“The problem is that today’s’ Hip Hop is about using the drugs versus back in the day it was about selling the drugs…”

Yea….newsflash: they’re both the same. Selling the drug is using them because the exchange is based on profit. The action of a dealer selling drugs to receive cash can be as much of an addiction (if not more) than actually using the drug. Never in the history of life will you find a person who is making lots of money quickly say, “Hey you know, I think I need to check into rehab because this making money thing is just too much for my well-being.”  While desperate addicts have been known to commit various crimes to get their fix, people who are addicted to crack aren’t known for their shootouts over a territory where innocent bystanders can be harmed. Plus, the reality is that Hip-Hop artist have always noted their affinity for getting high through various substances other than weed. Whether it was with the pioneers like Grandmaster Flash ‘White Lines” or more modern artist like Three 6 Mafia’s “Sippin on some syrup,” drug use in rap music was never absent. Instead, as Hip Hop culture grew from its underground roots to mainstream pop culture, the more public its demons and skeletons became known.

“Hopefully with Mac Miller’s death, young people will now understand the dangers of drugs…”

Yea, this is the type of insanity that needs to stop immediately. Almost every time a celebrity dies tragically, there’s this false, Jesus like messaging as if their death was some ultimate sacrifice for a greater good. It’s a lazy, detached approach based on some universal fantasy that dismisses any attempt to understand any different/deeper issue, while also being a spit in the face to any friend or family member who loved them. Ask Ms. Wallace if she rather have her only son alive and well or to have his death possibly helping decrease gun violence(which it didn’t). Tragic or famous deaths may serve as a warning for some, but it doesn’t face reality as a whole. For example in Mac Miller’s case, certain people whether it’s through, influence, stress, or simple pleasure have and will always find a way to get high. Yes, crack itself may fall out of fashion, however; unfortunately, there are plenty of other narcotics that climb their way up the social cool ladder every year.

America has had a rambunctious relationship with drug use since it’s conception. Society’s reaction to drug use has always been based more of its visual presentation than its repercussion. A movie where a pro athlete sniffs coke off a woman’s breast looks a lot cooler than a dirty tank top crack addict offering to perform a sexual act for an ounce of dope. There was never a public outcry of concern for Mac Miller’s drug use because he never publicly showed any sign of dysfunction. He presented himself as a playful jokester while everyone around seemed to love and laugh with him. Mac Miller died at the age of 26 from a drug overdose. His death was all too real reminder that there are many lessons to learn; just don’t rely on the one that aligns with outdated B.S. that helps no one.

J Hall