What Mac Miller taught us

Never take a day off

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This week marked the 5-year anniversary of Mac Miller’s death.

I still tear up when I think about his death.

I remember the first time I heard Mac. I was 11 in my friend’s basement. I thought it was trash. But as I got into my teen years, Mac became like the big brother I never had.

When I had no plans on a Friday night, I’d throw on Another Night and learn to love spending time alone. “As I spend another night without a single thing to do except writin' down this music I proceed to bring to you”

When I needed motivation to work harder, I put on 100 Grandkids. “Back then I had a dream I'd get this money, man, I know, my life would change, Just need a hundred grand.”

When my grandpa died, I’d put on Remember.“I hope you’re proud of me, the dude I grew to be, ingenuity influenced by your eulogy.”

When I needed confidence to talk to a girl, I’d throw on When in Rome. “I’m at the top of my game, me and you homie, we’re not the same”

When I fell in love, I’d throw on Youforia. Then when I went through heartbreak for the first time, I’d put on Dang! “I can’t keep losin you over complications, gone too soon, wait, we was just hangin.”

And of course, when I was lighting a joint with friends, I’d put on Outside or Senior Skip Day. “Don’t mind if we smoke this blunt outside cuz it’s nice out and we can get high.”

Mac was always there for me growing up whenever I needed him. I finally got to meet my metaphorical big bro at a concert in Detroit in 2016.

Mac dropped 6 studio albums and 13 mixtapes—he grew and reinvented himself every year.

He inspired me to start creating and still pushes me everyday to work harder, take more creative risks, and not give a fuck what people think.

Here’s a few things every creative can learn from Mac Miller:

YOU CAN REINVENT YOURSELF

Mac’s discography over time

Mac Miller went from frat boy rapper on KIDS to conscious rap on Watching Movies With The Sound Off to crooning love songs on The Divine Feminine.

You can reinvent yourself anytime you want. You’re not stuck with your identity from your first album or piece of content. You can change, you can grow. Hell, Mac even had an alterego he used on mixtapes named Larry Fisherman. It’s your art, you can make it however you want, you can be whoever you want.

I took these lessons to heart. Last year, O made my Twitter and online persona all around the cyberpunk glitchy blue and purple aesthetic. I didn’t start out like that. I reinvented myself quite a few times to get here.

BUILD A CREW

Mac had his crew—a DJ, manager, and friends he brought along for the ride—plus a bunch of rapper friends like Vince Staples and Earl Sweatshirt.

“I got brothers, I don’t need no friends,” Mac raps on Brand Name. “Made a promise to the homies, nobody'd go hungry,” he sings on What’s The Use?

Mac taught me the importance of friendship and building your crew. You can’t make it as a creator on your own. I only started seeing success as a creator once I started making internet friends. Some of these friends are like brothers in arms, we’re all chasing similar goals helping each other out.

NEVER TAKE A DAY OFF

I never take a day off, work around the clock,
my engineer getting paid off [...]
Go a couple full weeks without a good night's sleep
imagination, makin', musical creation,
the journey that I'm facin' plus the paper that I'm chasin

Mac Miller, Best Day Ever

One of my best friends grew up with Mac and described his work ethic as "in the studio until 4 AM every night".

Mac taught me that to make it as an artist, you need to work your fucking ass off, make sacrifices, and treat your art like a business. You don’t have to be a broke artist, you can be a rich one—but only if you’re willing to hustle for it.

Pop artist Andy Warhol wrote “Making money is art. Working is art. Good business is the best art”. It sounds like it could’ve been a Mac quote.

BEST MAC VERSES FOR CREATIVES:

Check out this week’s video. And don’t forget to scroll to the bottom of today’s newsletter for extra dank memes.

COOL SHIT CORNER

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Last thing. If you missed my video 2 weeks ago, I shared the 8 craziest things to happen to me on Twitter. Insanity. Go make some internet friends.

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Thanks for reading nerds.

Create some cool shit this week.

Jason Levin

P.S. Want to really upgrade your content strategy?

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