... a tender, studious remembrance amid the flurry of 'Rapper Dies' headlines ... Cantor, working without the cooperation of his subject’s family, makes hay from wide-ranging interviews with the artist’s friends and associates, in addition to the usual trove of media clips ... Cantor makes a fairly persuasive case that for all of McCormick’s later success, he was actually underrated, or at least underestimated, his whiteness an albatross that constantly made him suspect. Smoldering beneath his talents was a mean drug habit...and Cantor, playing up the tragic flaw, is wearyingly fixated on the subject throughout a repetitive book, in which whole chapters can drift by without much new information. Yet we learn almost nothing about the circumstances around his death (bedroom, fentanyl), or its larger context.
Literary and media critic Cantor wrote this first biography of rap legend Mac Miller (1992–2018) without the participation of Miller’s family and estate but manages to provide a respectful and moving account of Miller’s career and complicated life ... While Cantor relies heavily on previously published interviews, he does provide fresh insights from Miller’s professional acquaintances, and the result is an honest, cautionary tale about a troubled musician gone too soon.
In this engrossing debut, journalist Cantor unpacks the complex legacy of Mac Miller ... While he extols Miller’s outsize talents, Cantor also candidly reckons with the rapper’s inner demons ... Cantor offers a raw look at the struggles that fueled Miller’s most enduring creations.