‘Macheads’ celebrate at Blue Slide Park

Written By Justine Quach, Copy Editor

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This past weekend marked the one-year anniversary of local rapper Mac Miller’s untimely death.  His loyal fans, his “Macheads,” traveled from all over the world to come and celebrate his life.

Friday evening was the Mac Miller Memorial Celebration held at the newly named Mac Miller’s Blue Slide Park.  Hundreds of Macheads gathered together to listen to his music, sing, jump around and dance. They also shared memories and stories about how much his music had impacted their lives.  And of course, everyone took turns sliding down the famous blue slide.

The best thing about Macheads is they never make you feel alone.  You could have shown up by yourself, knowing no one, and you would have still felt accepted and part of the group.  They are a very loving, respectful community. Everyone followed the rules as well of no smoking, drinking, or littering at the park. 

There was sensational artwork displayed of Malcom, candles were lit, blue roses spread about, news stations were around and there also were many beautiful dogs.  Most of the crowd was wearing Mac Miller clothing, sporting Mac Miller tattoos, and rocking Vans or Nikes on their feet.

Mac’s father, Mark McCormick, was in attendance, and halfway through gave a very heartwarming, funny speech on behalf of him and his wife, Karen.  He thanked everyone for attending, and for always loving and supporting his son over the years.  Mark also thanked everyone who signed the petition to rename the park after Malcom. 

He then started to speak about his son, which brought many tears among the crowd, saying “He was fearless.  He was competitive.  He was ambitious, and he cared about everybody…and he remained loyal to his friends that helped him on his way.  He was always loving and kind to others…and most importantly he was a [expletive] hard worker.” 

Mr. McCormick named off a lot of the artists Malcom had worked with, who he had loved and admired, who had become a part of the McCormick family.  He had some choice words about rapper French Montana, who had made some not so great comments about Mac after his passing.  Mark also made sure to bring up how Mac’s dealer was finally arrested, and how they now have a sense of comfort.  He said that drugs are worse now; he said that so much is now laced with fentanyl and said, “Just don’t take the risk. It’s just not worth it”.

After his speech, there was more singing, dancing and story-telling, as well as children and Macheads taking turns down the slide.  At the end of the celebration, everyone gathered around the slide for a massive group photo.  The very last part of the event was beautiful.  It ended with a vigil where everyone held up lighters and calmed down while we all stood, swaying and singing to 2009.  The feeling during that song cannot be put into words.

The environment throughout had given me chills (the good kind), made me feel welcome and that I was just among a huge group of friends.  It’s hard to capture the true feelings I had that night, and many others had felt the same way.  Pictures won’t do it justice either.  Saturday night, one of Malcom’s longest friends and DJ, Clockwork DJ, held a party in Penn Hills, where he spent over four hours just playing Mac Miller songs while everyone went wild with singing and dancing.  He also did a livestream on Instagram the whole time, so those Macheads who could not attend could still witness it in some way and lessen their FOMO.

The fact that one person has impacted the lives of so many people so intensely that, even after his death, he is still so loved and admired is phenomenal.  Having so many strangers come from all over the world to support and celebrate a person is such a beautiful thing to witness.  Also, that people including, his fans, can look beyond his addiction and his issues, and see him for the beautifully talented, funny and caring person he was, is so important and admirable.

Mac Miller will forever be remembered, and us Macheads will continue to keep his legacy alive and strong.

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