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Threnody for a Prodigious yet Troubled Hip Hop Artist

The fallen rapper wanted to get away from reality.

Not even a year after the death of Hip Hop artist Gustav Elijah Åhr, better known to the rap world as Lil’ Peep, rapper and producer Malcolm James “Mac Miller” McCormick has died of a drug overdose just like Åhr. What has to be remembered in cases like this is that if a person wants to get high, they’re going to get high. You can step in like a speed bump and try to slow them down, but if they’re willing to risk it, they’ll speed up and just hop over you.

In the case of McCormick, the idea of a brilliant MC who had the girl before they broke up (Ariana Grande), the money (he lived in a gorgeous house in the beautiful San Fernando Valley in California), and possessed the skills to match any other rapper in the game seems to clash with what has happened. But the beckoning of drugs overtook all of these values. He lowered himself to being an addict and it cost him, ultimately. No amount of talent in the world could have saved him.

To be aged 26 (and miss the infamous “27 Club” by just a few months) and die with so many accomplishments from the past and potential for the future shows McCormick as just another example of this age of drug abusers looking to emote rather than think. Their minds are so warped and wrapped around the ideas of emotions that their thinking apparatus becomes impaired.

When they chase that high, they are signalling to the world that despite the money and the women, there is an underlying decadence which takes over in their skulls. Instead of pursuing rational self-interest, they sacrifice their talents and become shells of themselves. This all happens until that momentous day when the concoction takes them out, finally.

Again, they’re going to get high anyway. In any way that that they can, the abuser is going to find the substance of choice and check out over their pain, when all they had to do was get the help that they needed so desperately. It’s much simpler than that. You can emphasize the dangers, outline the capacity for change, but the abuser is going to abuse. In McCormick’s situation, the idea of cessation of drug intake seemed just out of reach. Like a flower that decided to creep away from sunlight and cut off its intake of water, the drug abuser sacrificed.

So many of the celebrities that have overdosed and survived their encounter with the bottle of alcohol, the needle, or the bottle of pills, can speak on the importance of abstinence. McCormick cannot. Only the living can take in the message that drug abuse is a deadly game. Even with prescription drugs which pharmacologists design to control anxiety, depression, and other ailments, it is the abuse of such substances that is the problem. McCormick abused the drugs that he possessed and therefore he met his end.

It isn’t the drug’s fault. The blame ought to be placed on the abuser. Now, they cannot speak from the death world to the land of the living. So, all the people who’ve ever overdosed, it is because they wanted to do it. Their anguish, their sorrow mixed up and led to perversion and a twisted sense of morality.

This is another reason why all drugs need to be decriminalized, legalized, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ought to be abolished. The coolness and the mystique of the narcotics and prescription pills alike would lose their luster. All of the different drugs that could work to fight abuse would be available instead of being blackballed by a nefarious and unnecessary government bureaucracy.

McCormick succumbed to the pressures of not stardom but of being himself. What most miss in cases like his is the fact that artists, entertainers, executives, busboys, and truck drivers who want a fix will find a way to get it. And if that means certain death, so be it. McCormick didn’t reach out to find help. He didn’t make any inroads to better his life or his condition. All that supporters and family and friends have is a corpse. What they have is the man’s body and his body of work to cope with, to try to understand.

The message is clear. Do the drugs. Take in all the pills, syrup, powder, and other substances that alter your sense of reality. In a political sense, this is all okay. But morally, this is a damning way to treat your body and especially your mind. McCormick subscribed to drugs out of desperation, like some of today’s youth. He couldn’t find a proper philosophy which would challenge his stance on ingesting and abusing drugs. He could not understand that your brain is your only tool for survival. And to damage it or alter it in any way can lead to catastrophe, as is evident with his death.

For young people coming up who feel before they think, leap before they look, and go around sensing that something is awful in life and that it must be escaped, they should reconsider. There are plenty of ways to be constructive and productive in this life, as McCormick was. He was prolific in his output of music all the while dabbling in the drug scene. This dichotomy ultimately did in the young man. Ever productive and independent, he also exhibited signs of wear as he took codeine to relax away the pain of touring.

To evade from reality is what this generation has become accustomed to, now. Smoke marijuana, shoot up heroin, drink bottles of liquor and “lean.” All of these acts show that the individual is not equipped with dealing with reality. Such actions display that the abuser lacks the ability of facing truths that they wish did not exist. But they do. And they did in McCormick’s case.

After the breakup with Grande, McCormick couldn’t deal, allegedly, with losing her. Instead of confronting the reality of the situation, he hid himself behind drugs and met his demise. For those young people who wish to test death, they should do so. But not without realizing that reality is the only arbiter of your choice to not abuse or abuse or to think or not to think.

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