September 26, 2018 | ° F

OMANA: People's music can have powerful effect


Opinions Column: Left Brain, Right Brain


Malcolm James McCormick, better known as Mac Miller, was found dead on Friday around noon in his California home. Since then his community, fans, friends and family have mourned over his loss. 

I was personally a huge fan of Miller and have been grieving over his death, a man I have never met before. Just a day earlier I was walking to my class, lost in a crowd of people all looking for the right classroom number. Within that commotion I must have hit the play button on my phone and there it goes: Mac Miller blasting in front of a bunch of people. 

It was his latest album, "Swimming," that began to play. I would usually be embarrassed but I was not really. I thought, “At least people know I have amazing music taste.” I listened to all of his albums and have been listening to "The Divine Feminine," which was released in 2016, and "Swimming," which was just released about a month ago, every single day. 

Miller not only touched and inspired me in countless ways — he inspired millions. 

As I heard the news on Friday of his passing, I was devastated. I was heartbroken and mad. I missed him, yet I had never even met him. I went on Twitter and saw that millions of people felt the same way I did. 

On Aug. 6, three days after releasing "Swimming," Miller tweeted, “... Music is such a special thing and moments like these never cease to amaze me. I hope you find something in these songs just as I found something making them.”

Miller was right. Millions of people were touched by him and it is just that that speaks volumes to the power of his character and music, just as he had implied in that very tweet: “Music is such a special thing.” Miller was always happy and laughing, his music was upbeat and genius, but all the while tackled deep subjects as he rapped candidly about his many demons. 

Everyone has demons but we often forget that. We do not go around talking about the worst things that have happened to us, or about our insecurities and fears, but music gives artists the opportunity to do so and to connect with a large audience that does not get to tackle those subjects otherwise. 

We see that many people only really get to explore those areas of their lives through music, as we as humans often choose to not talk about those darker things with our friends and family. 

Miller was an artist whose music spoke to people. Most of my generation grew up with him. Growing pains, love, struggles and much more — Miller talked about it all. 

Millions of people feel as though Miller was a friend and feel they owe a lot to him. I know that is how I feel. 

Music has the power to connect us and help us cope with the challenges and struggles of life. Many of us are deeply affected by his passing, feeling that a man who helped so many of us is gone and some of us did not even get to thank him. 

I think so many people are mourning him because he was a beautiful person who poured his soul into his music and most of us felt we knew him. He loved music and was vulnerable and open in his music and we are forever indebted to him.

Miller spoke often of the many demons he had and about all aspects of his life. He was open about his addictions and struggles, and I guess a lot of us felt he would get through it and wished for his recovery. No one wants their heroes or the people they love to die, and I guess for a lot of us those heroes and people who help us cope with life are often artists. 

So with reason, we not only mourn a talented artist, we mourn a friend. 

Breana Omana is a School of Arts and Sciences junior majoring in journalism and media studies and minoring in political science. Her column, "Left Brain, Right Brain," runs on alternate Tuesdays.

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Breana Omana

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