Mac Miller: grizzled determination made troubled star a rap icon

The son of a middle-class Jewish photographer and architect, Miller took a dogged approach to pushing his sound

It was grizzled determination more than natural talent (though there was plenty of that too) that made a rap icon of Mac Miller.

When the Pittsburgh MC first exploded into hip-hop in 2011 with his first album, Blue Slide Park – a wide-eyed glide of airy boom-bap beats and youthful rhymes that his growing grassroots fanbase turned into the first independently distributed debut to top the US chart since 1995 – he became “the most Googled thing on the internet. It was like: diet, carrots [then] Mac Miller,” he laughed to Vulture in one of his final interviews.

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