Mac Miller and the sudden spike in sales after his death

The sudden death of Mac Miller generated a much needed discussion surrounding the aftermath that results when a artist dies. In August, Mac Miller released what would become his final album, ‘Swimming’, and for the first time, it charted #1 on streaming services. Following Mac’s death, rapper Ugly God proposed the idea of fake-sympathy, as he called out ‘fans’ who ignored ‘Swimming’ due to it being released on the same date as ‘AstroWorld’. But is it really fake-sympathy, or just a reintroduction?
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Surging to the top of the charts following a death isn’t a unfamiliar territory, as over the summer we’ve witnessed XXXTENTACION’s ‘Sad’ go #1 on Billboard, it’s the simple concept of revisiting the latest work of an artist, or being introduced to it for the first time. For an artist like Mac Miller, who’s sustained a near decade long career, many fans that are mourning his death, might’ve not had been a fan of his work, but are respecting the impact he’s had and recognizing the connection to the culture Mac held. Now that Mac has passed, and people are now appreciating his artistry, and his latest album, it’s an issue rooted within the industry, and the long lasting impact of popularity that causes people to pick and chose who to pay attention to. Let’s face it, any album faced against ‘AstroWorld’ would’ve been ignored upon release, even Nicki Minaj, an artist on a higher caliber, suffered just a week later. Mac Miller’s work being ignored isn’t a recent reaction, as he also decided to go toe-for-toe against Kanye West and J. Cole back in 2013, and the general interest benefited with the more popular artist
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Despite his mainstream appeal, Mac Miller lacked mainstream attention, and is recognized as a artist who sustained a cult-like following. The death of Mac Miller, and the reaction towards the aftermath isn’t an issue of ‘fake sympathy’, or ‘fake fans’, it’s the commonality of a mainstream audience choosing what benefits their interests when the time is right. Unfortunately for Mac Miller and many others, being recognized upon death is the effect of what we’ve been accustomed to, of how we decide what’s accessible enough for us

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