Last week, the music world was shocked to discover that rapper Mac Miller passed away at the young age of 26, due to a reported drug overdose. It was tragic news for fans everywhere, but it might've hit the citizens of Pittsburgh, PA the hardest. The musician is from the 'Burgh originally, making his way into the business through local music houses and playing in the city's nearest concert venues before he hit it big and moved all the way to Los Angeles. It is the city where Mac Miller is remembered dearly. Now, it's where he's deeply missed. Since the musician's untimely death, Pittsburgh has spent this mournful time remembering the late musician and recounting their memories of the rapper who passed away towards the height of his career. Both on social media and through public vigils, music lovers around the city have taken the time to memorialize Mac Miller in their own ways.
As it was reported in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, fans and friends of the late Mac Miller have remembered the artist by attending the vigil for the late musician, which was held in Blue Slide Park-- the East End playground which was considered among the musician's favorite locales in his hometown. During this public service, the thousands of people in attendance could be heard chanting "4-1-2," the local area code, as well as "One more song!" Once the crowd drew silent, however, there was reportedly moments of silence ,as candles were raised and memories were silently held inside the mournful eyes of those in remembrance. It wasn't long, however, when the silence was broken by a person in the crowd shouting, "We love you, Mac!"
In addition to all the fans, Mac Miller's grandmother was also in attendance, and she spoke a few words during the public memorial. And while it was a dour occasion, it was also considered "jovial," in part, with music performed and fond memories shared. In addition to mourning a loss, the people who gathered on this day were also celebrating a life. And they took the time to recount the lost artist as they best saw fit. There were paintings and there were various forms of art shown and celebrated during the gathering. Meanwhile, residents were quick to note that all the rain Pittsburgh has experienced in the wake of the musician's death was no coincidence. Instead, they were spiritual tears shed for the loss of an artist adored and missed.
As a Pittsburgh, PA resident myself, I can attest to the wave of sadness felt throughout the city since Mac Miller passed away. While he wasn't in the city quite as often as he used to be during his final years, he was never shy about expressing his hometown pride, from his music to his tattoos. Hell, you can even see his Pittsburgh pride in the header photo above, where he is decked to the nines in his Steelers apparel. He carried a big heart. It is undoubtedly a difficult time for not only fans of Mac Miller's music, but for the people locally who knew the young musician and now miss him dearly.
It should be noted that Blue Slide Park was also repainted, as promised, in the wake of Mac Miller's death -- a way of remembering the late rapper. Most notably, the slide of freshly blue again, and it was available to be used on Tuesday, giving the location a new sense of life amid this grave loss.
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Will is an entertainment writer based in Pittsburgh, PA. His writing can also be found in The Playlist, Cut Print Film, We Got This Covered, The Young Folks, Slate and other outlets. He also co-hosts the weekly film/TV podcast Cinemaholics with Jon Negroni and he likes to think he's a professional Garfield enthusiast.