The 26 year old rapper Mac Miller was found dead in his home in San Francisco on September 7. News reports said that the musician, who had a history of substance abuse, likely died of an overdose.
Tributes and regrets came pouring in as the news of Miller’s death spread. But some people also remembered one of Miller’s most high-profile feuds — with the man who became president of the United States. In the space of just a few years, Trump went from calling Miller a “fantastic” talent on a level with Eminem, to threatening to sue the Pittsburgh-born rapper and making fun of his appearance. For his part, Miller went from idolizing Trump’s millions to slamming him for his views on immigration and race.
The president has not commented on Mac Miller’s death.
Here’s what you need to know about Mac Miller and Donald Trump:
1. Years Before Trump Was Elected, Mac Miller Wrote a Song About Him
Miller’s single “Donald Trump” appeared in 2011. It was the top single from Miller’s album “Best Day Ever,” and also Miller’s first entry on the Hot 100. The song peaked at #79 and got over 20 million plays on YouTube.
“Donald Trump” is about, well, money, and the dream of making it as a millionaire. Back when Miller wrote the song, Trump wasn’t a politician; he was a reality TV star. People across America were tuning in to The Apprentice to admire his business savvy. And of course, New Yorkers knew Trump as a real estate developer who loved to make headlines and enjoyed being in the public eye.
The video for “Donald Trump” is shot looking across New York rooftops. The lyrics read, B****es hating on him, cause he started out here locally / Hopefully, I’ll be at the top soon…Take over the world when I’m on my Donald Trump s***/Look at all this money, ain’t that some s***.”
The single had a little come-back in 2016, just after Trump won the election. “Donald Trump” made it up to number 34 on the i-tunes chart, not bad for a five year old song.
2. At First, Trump Seemed Amused by the Song — Then He Got Mad That He Wasn’t Getting a Share of the Profits
When “Donald Trump” first came out, Trump raved about Mac Miller. He called him “the next Eminem” and said that the rapper was “fantastic — even though Trump admitted that he couldn’t really understand the words used in the song without seeing the lyrics written down.
“A lot of people are calling me about the Mac Miller rap song,” Donald explained in the YouTube video,” Trump said. “It’s named ‘Donald Trump.’ Maybe he should pay me a lotta money, but it just hit over 20 million. 20 million people tuning into Mac Miller!”
It didn’t take long before Trump changed his tune and started grumbling that he wasn’t getting a share in the profits from the song named after him. In 2013, Trump tweeted, “Little @MacMiller, you illegally used my name for your song ‘Donald Trump’ which now has over 75 million hits. Little @MacMiller, I want the money not the plaque you gave me!”
In a bizarre twist, though, Trump apparently came around to liking the “Donald Trump” song again. In 2015, when he was on the campaign trail, Trump asked a reporter for The Hill to sit through the song. Trump asked one of his staffers to set up the song, adding that he wanted to see how many hits it had gotten on YouTube.
3. Mac Miller Made A Mash-Up Video So It Look Like Trump Is Rapping About Himself
Please note that this video does not really show the president rapping a song about himself! It’s just a clever satire that combines clips of the president speaking and puts them in an order that mimics Mac Miller’s song about him. The video went viral when Mac Miller put it out back in 2016.
Lyrics jab at some of the notorious moments from the campaign trail, and include phrases like “Tell a b**** that she better bring a friend/ We’ll take this country and make it great again.”
Miller put out the parody to help promote the re-release of his Best Day Ever mixtape.
4. Trump Once Bragged That He Had More Hair Than “Little Mac Miller”
In 2013 — when Trump had already started hinting that he’d be interested in running for president — he was also making vague threats about suing Mac Miller over the “illegal” use of his name in Miller’s song. Around that time, Trump also took to Twitter to brag about his own hair.
“Little @MacMiller—I have more hair than you do and there’s a slight age difference,” Trump wrote. The tweet came as part of a tweetstorm by Trump, as he vented about being denied a share in the profits from “Donald Trump,” the hit single. You can read the rest of that tweetstorm here. Mac Miller did not respond.
5. Miller Was Very Public About His Hatred of Trump & Begged Voters Not to Elect Him
In 2013, before Trump’s campaign was anywhere near official, Miller was already begging voters not to elect him. You can watch him on the Nightly Show, here.
The rapper opens his monologue by saying, “I have only one thing to say. I f***ing hate you, Donald Trump.” He goes on to say that, he knows, “If you get elected, I’m staying right the f*** here…because I love America, and I’m never giving it up for a troll like you.”