What follows is a candid look at the Pittsburgh native’s past six years, starting with his ascent, when he was 19, as a popular but critically panned rapper. “I was an easy target. I admit that,” he says now. “It became one of those things where I got so much negativity that it almost became, like, ‘There’s no point to overly hate on this dude, let me look in and see what he’s doing.’ And when you look in, there’s some good music there.” Following his 2011 debut album, Billboard's first independently released No.1 in over a decade, Mac moved to Los Angeles, where it seemed to many he was thriving.
That’s where Andrew Nosnitsky met him for Mac Miller's 2013 The FADER cover story, and where he played an endearing role in Earl Sweatshirt’s cover too. But Mac says L.A. soon turned toxic, as he spiraled into increasing drug use. In one scene in Stopped Making Excuses, French Montana counsels him to slow down with codeine. In another, Mac appears in a bathtub wearing a long-sleeved shirt, top hat, and sunglasses, while saying “I’m not on drugs… drugs are on me.” To finish 2015’s acclaimed GO:OD AM, he headed back to Pittsburgh to regain his composure. Watch him lead the Steelers onto the field, eat one of those weird sandwiches with french fries on it, and perform in his Taylor Allderdice High School graduation gown. Now, he’s living in New York, trying to make sense of his past and orient himself to an independent, healthy future. “I’d rather be the corny white rapper than the drugged-out mess that can’t even get out of his house,” he says. “You don’t go down in history because you overdosed." Director: Rob Semmer
Producer: Rob Semmer Executive Producer: Joseph Patel Executive Producers: Andy Cohn, Jon Cohen, Rob Stone, Anthony Holland Director Of Photography: Scott Perry Editor: Orion Barki Assistant Editors: Christopher Jones, Scott Perry Camera Assistant: Alexa Carroll, Zach McGeehan Sound: Miliken Gardner, Molly Young Editor: Orion Barki Assistant Editor: Christopher Jones, Scott Perry Color: Bryan Smaller @ Company 3 Sound Design: Eugene Wasserman Titles: Kyle Sauer Production Coordinator: Madison LaClair Post Production: Sam Balaban, Saleh Ramazani Still Photographer: Ethan Holland