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Mac Miller’s New Single, “That’s Life” Touches on the Challenge of Staying Sober

27 June 2019
Mac Miller's "That's Life" Discusses Struggle of Trying to Stay Clean and Sober

Ten months after the untimely passing of rapper, Mac Miller, his estate allowed the release of a new single with 88-Keys and Sia labeled “That’s Life.” The song discusses the hardships of life and how it was hard for Mac to stay sober. It was originally recorded for Mac’s 2015 album GO:OD AM. After listening to the heartfelt song produced by 88-Keys, Sia was moved to contribute her thoughts on the subject matter. After the passing of the influential rapper, MusiCares created a legacy fund for those struggling with substance abuse.

Mac Miller’s Battle with Addiction

Mac Miller died from an overdose in September 2018, found with trace amounts of fentanyl, cocaine and alcohol. When Mac was producing his album in 2015 – GO:OD AM – he met with Grammy-winning producer 88-Keys, where the two were sharing life stories about relationships and work that was done for Kanye West’s College Dropout album. “That’s when I realized how much of a Kanye fan he was.” The two continued to discuss past experiences and new beats, where 88-Keys played a track he was working on called “Benjie the Dog” derived from Valerie Simpson’s “Benjie” released in 1972. Mac quickly started to write lyrics stemming from the two’s conversation about relationships and the challenges that stem from sobriety. Then the magic happened when the two began recording.

The Resonance of “That’s Life”

After the song was recorded, 88-Keys played the track to Sia, who “personally identified with the sentiments of the song and felt strongly about contributing her own thoughts on the subject matter,” according to 88-Keys. With the lyrics from Mac and the endearing bridge from Sia, the producer created “a song to touch the world and help many deal with adversities we’re faced with, but ‘That’s Life.’”

Sia’s bridge talks about the signs that Mac gave when he was dealing with his addiction, similar to the signs that many who are addicted give. She goes on saying “I wish I could take all your pain, but when the toxin is fame – the drugs they don’t fill the hole, the connections the game. Wish you’d pick up the phone…knew that you weren’t alone.” Making a career out of the music industry can place a lot of stress and mental health issues on musician, many of which self-medicate with drugs and alcohol.

Beyond “That’s Life”: Mac Miller’s Enduring Legacy

MusiCares created The Mac Miller Legacy Fund that helps young musicians struggling with substance abuse. They have raised over $50,000 in honor of Mac’s life and legacy, to help young people “realize their potential and talent.” MusiCares provides assets to musicians when they need it most, offering resources and programs for addiction recovery. The Mac Miller Legacy Fund is dedicated to helping musicians age 27 and under who are facing addiction. To find out if you qualify, please visit MusiCares.org. Face the Music Foundation encourages all who are struggling with addiction to seek help immediately.