As the year comes to an end, it’s safe to say that 2018 is one of the most memorable in Hip-Hop. It’s in its most profitable, most accessible, and most creative era ever. Forty-years deep and it shows no signs of slowing down. Say what you want about the new generation but they are a big component behind that velocity.
The influence of the new gen MC’s is without question, whether you enjoy or denounce their music. The murder of XXXtentacion was met with thousands flooding the streets in a memorandum around the country. The “Lil Mafia” (Pump, Yachty, Uzi Vert etc.) are performing in front of sold out shows across the country. Likewise, this is the first era of Hip-Hop to have a healthy roster of OG MC’s who are still relevant.
Hip-Hop is no longer a young man’s game. The number of artists adding years to their career is growing exponentially. And for fans, it’s a beautiful thing to grow old with your favorite artists.
It’s because of this, Mac Miller is the face of Hip-Hop for 2018.
Hip-Hop is and always will be black culture but it has always welcomed anyone of any creed, race, and background. From MC Serch to the Beastie Boys to Slim Shady to Mac Miller and beyond – white MC’s (and other races) are going to thrive in this culture. More so, they’ll earn their place in the history books when they respect the culture.
Mac Miller’s life and music impacted young and old. He was an example of how far Hip-Hop has grown. How far someone from his background can extend their influence. Miller’s early career draws similarities to the current new generation of artists – vibrant, no rules, and reckless. His later work was calmer, more introspective, and evolved. Miller was the best of both worlds, the bridge between the new and old.
When Miller journeyed into the realm beyond life itself on September 7, 2018, it was a vacancy in the House of Hip-Hop everyone felt – a phantom limb to an amputee. It was another frustrating wake-up call in a year of heartbreak. The reaction from artists across both eras is a testament to Mac’s significance in the culture.
The bitter pill to swallow is that Miller’s life is a brutal reminder of Hip-Hop’s failing struggle with the demons and vices that consume our beloved artists. As influential and positive of an impact Hip-Hop commands on society, it still leads the world of music in avoidable deaths, whether by poison or lead.
It may be wishful thinking that Miller’s death may change this problem. There were greater things that Mac was battling and those who loved him tried their best to help. Of course, in a perfect world, Mac’s death would’ve been decades later and not the cautionary tale it became this past year.