“Time don’t give a fuck about clocks till they stop”
Article guest written by Nick DeAlmenara (pictured above).
I was living in Peru when Michael Jackson died, I still remember the exact moment. I went into my cousin’s room, hopped on his computer and started up MSN, first headline “Michael Jackson found dead in his home”. I couldn’t believe it, I didn’t believe it, and I assumed it was some kind of weird fake news website since I wasn’t in America. I called my cousin over to the computer; he read the screen and sat in silence for a few minutes before the tears. I was about 5 years younger than him, only 13, and I wondered how it must of felt. I know how he felt now.
Last Friday afternoon, after leaving a meeting heading into another, I stopped to check my phone. I was bombarded with text messages from friends with varying worry filled messages. “This can’t be true” “Are you ok?” “I can’t believe he’s gone”. I was so confused, I ran to my computer and read the headline, the same way my cousin did, and I sat. I sat frozen for a few minutes until someone walked up to my desk, asking if I was going into the next meeting. I shook my head no and left. Went home, and cried. Cried for hours like I lost a brother, Mac and his music had always been there… and now he’s just gone? He had been doing better I thought, well he fooled me. Every interview was all smiles and positivity, in a way I had seen from him in years. It seemed as if his demons were behind him.
He dropped his project “Faces” on Mother’s Day 2014, a darkly ironic release date for the heavy subject matter. The mixtape is riddled with speak of death and suicide, you hear bars like, “Just went through a half ounce of coke, blood pouring all out my nose don’t tell my mom I got a drug problem” These words graced our ears and his own mother’s that year. I’m sure a gift his mother would have rather tuned out. Hearing her son verbalize and even joke about his own drug addiction must have sent shivers down her spine. For me it was gospel. I was in a bit of my own trouble at the time, having just been kicked out of college and developing my own nasty addictive habits, I thought I was insane. Running from issues and into highs to escape a hell I had created for myself. Mac was there to show me it happens, and I’m not alone. It soothed me knowing someone else had these issues just like me. He learned to grow out of those issues and with personal growth came a change in his musical style as well, with his next album, GO:OD AM. He led by example for his fans, showing that you can make it out of these struggles and come out better than before. He was there to show me how to be better, and I can’t thank him enough for it.
The loss of Mac Miller is one I won’t get over anytime soon, and I think this feeling is mutual for so many others because of how a part of our lives Mac Miller felt. He was played at our high school party pre games, through the speakers of our first car, blasted through the pain of our first break up, and in the morning on the way to our first real job. He was never a rapper, or an artist, he was a person. For me he was my older brother. He guided me through my own battles with depression and drug addiction, always there as a light of hope, as someone who had gone through it and gotten out to tell the tale. I think what hurts the most is feeling that we’ve lost that beacon of hope.
He isn’t gone though, not by a long shot. We all are here to continue his story and be the light that he was for us. While he might not be here anymore, we are, and we need to continue to share his music and story so that one day he can help someone else who needs him. He might not be here to speak his wisdoms, so it’s up to us to make sure they are still heard. We are his voice now. Let’s not let him down.