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Thundercat Reflects on Mac Miller On the 5th Anniversary of His Death

Thundercat recently shared his fondness for late friend and rapper Mac Millerwith VIBE. Ahead of his Music At the Intersection Festival performance in St. Louis, the multi-hyphenate musician reflected on how Miller affected his life “in a major way” five years after the Pittsburgh native’s death. At 26 years old, Miller passed away at his Los Angeles home on September 7, 2018 after an accidental overdose of cocaine, fentanyl, and alcohol.

The artist shared that Miller was one of his closest friends in the industry, adding that the late rapper continues to be a guide.

“Mac… Goodness,” the 2-time Grammy-winner began. “Mac changed my life, man, and he was one of my best friends. And the funny thing is, sometimes we throw the term ‘best friends’ around and stuff like that, but every day, I think about him. And I always remember how he affected my life in a major way. And I just know he’s always there with me and I keep that in my heart.”

In the years since Miller’s death, the rapper has been homaged by artists and friends including Vince Staples, Kilo Kish, ScHoolboy Q, Steve Lacy, Earl Sweatshirt, and former girlfriend Ariana Grande. Miller has also gotten dedications from diehard fans, like author and music journalist, Donna-Claire Chesman, who published The Book of Mac: Remembering Mac Miller in 2021.

“I mean, the Mac that I knew and the way he had room for everybody and the way he made room, I think the world is making room for Mac now,” he said.

He continued, “And it’s beautiful to watch. To me, he was always genius, like I could see it [laughs]. He was too cool. Got the baddest girl on the planet, but it was smooth. From that to creatively [being] a powerhouse. That and all the above and taking it all in stride. He was too cool, man. I would say he was a one-man Rat Pack, you know. And yeah, it is bittersweet, but it’s an overall joy to know that he left his mark.”

Thundercat made a notable appearance in Miller’s first NPR Tiny Desk Concert in 2018. The performance was exclusively released to vinyl last month, along with the rapper’s final album, Swimming.

Mac Miller: NPR Music Tiny Desk

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