Mac Miller's sudden passing shocked the music world on Friday, and left friends and collaborators like Vince Staples with a lot of difficult tributes to write on social media.
Staples and Miller worked together on a number of big projects together in the past decade. In 2013, Miller produced Staples' mixtape Stolen Youth under the pseudonym Larry Fisherman.
"I must've died and went to heaven... Currently in shock, it'll hit me in a second. What's your question? You need a blessing, right? Or you just wondering what heaven's like," Staples captioned a photo of the two on stage together. Miller had grumbled the lines between each verse in the song.
"I’ll see you soon," Staples added to the caption. "Thank you for everything... for all of this. I love you."
Staples also changed his profile picture ot a photo of the two rappers grinning with their arms around each other. They appeared to be in an empty stadium.
Miller's verse on "Heaven" was also eerily prescient of his early passing. In it, he made several references to his habitual drug use, and characteristically cavalier warnings of his death.
"Smoking blunts 'till I'm Gangam Style / Coughing into my coffin now," he quipped at one point. Miller finished his verse with a tribute to Pimp C, another rapper who had passed away a few years earlier, and then a few lines about his own legacy and mortality.
"Rest in peace to Pimp C / Set me free, Need ecstasy / I just really wanna get my jet to leave / Go and play the front 9 at Pebble Beach / Just set some goals that I'll never reach / Get you high, seven leaves, never peak / Good energy 'til it's rest in peace."
Miller's lyrics had no shortage of ominous language, and references even dark than these — especially at the beginning of this decade. His collaborations with Staples, in particular, create a unique dynamic. While Miller was ponderous and apparently self-destructive, Staples tells stories of poverty, crime and gang wars. He often pays homage to fallen friends in his lyrics, and writes about staying sober to stay alive.
"Thirsty for the pay, young n— led astray / Stray bullet hit my brother in his m— face / What's fate when a person don't deserve what he get?" he wrote in a song on Miller's Faces mixtape. "And them funerals was usual, ain't shedding no tears," he added later in the same verse. "Knew the fallen had it better off than most of us did / Cause shit, Heaven knows, Heaven's gates prolly closed."0comments
Miller was found dead in his San Fernando Valley home on Friday around noon. Drug use has not been officially confirmed as his cause of death, though law enforcement sources told TMZ they suspect it was an overdose. Miller was just 26 years old.
Photo Credit: FilmMagic / Gabriel Olsen