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Mac Miller’s Artistry Evolution: Why Evolving Your Money Habits Matters for Long Term Success



Photo: GettyImages

Mac Miller‘s fortune is going to his parents.

The rapper, although he was just 26 when he died of an apparent overdose, set up a trust in 2013 and executed a will at that time, according to The Blast.

His parents, Mark and Karen McCormack, are named as beneficiaries, while his lawyer David Byrnes is named as the administrator. The site mentions that there’s a possibility for multiple beneficiaries, but Miller’s parents will get the biggest share.

The rapper’s brother, named Miller, is also named as an administrator of the state in case Byrnes cannot fulfill his obligation.

The total of the “Self Care” singer’s fortune was not revealed.

Mark and Karen released a statement when news of their son’s death broke last week

“Malcolm McCormick known and adored by fans as Mac Miller, has tragically passed away at the age of 26. He was a bright light in this world for his family, friends and fans. thank you for your prayers.”

This story originally appeared in the New York Post.


In the video for Mac Miller’s latest single, “Self Care,” he’s thrust into one of the most famous scenes from Quentin Tarantino’s 2004 film Kill Bill: Volume 2. Mac is in a coffin, buried alive with nothing but his wits to get him out of the life-threatening predicament. It is, of course, a metaphor for Mac’s mental situation, he’s in dire straits and desperately needs to get out of his own head. Eventually he does, emerging from the dirt triumphantly, but before he can celebrate overcoming that particular obstacle another arises as the ground beneath him explodes.

Though this video is meant to parallel his mind state, it also could apply to his career, and is cyclical. Mac broke out as a teenager in Wiz Khalifa’s shadow as a Pittsburgh native who seemed to mimic Wiz’s aesthetics, down to the clothing brands he chose and the way he wore his hats. He fell right into the niche he was born to fill, as a white kid who spoke to the frat houses, stoners and slacker kids right in his age group. He quickly became an internet sensation, and eventually, as his Blue Slide Park debut became the first independent album to top Billboard’s album charts, a commercial success as well.

But one thing that eluded Mac was critical acclaim. He was slammed by both critics and his fellow rappers as a sham, a try hard and worst of all, a talentless opportunist feasting off of his skin color. The criticism hit him hard, and he sunk into a depression that saw his weight fluctuate as he turned to drugs.

This also lead to an artistic breakthrough, as Mac began toying with production and holed himself up in his Los Angeles in-home studio for months at a time. Suddenly, Mac was musically inclined, and with the mixtapes and albums that followed the commercially successful but critically-panned Blue Side Park, he’d finally garnered the respect for his artistry that he’d always craved.

The 2012 mixtape Macadelic was as psychedelic as the title implied. His sophomore album Watching Movies With The Sound Off was the evolution and the largest fruit of all of his labor during his marathon sessions. His endeavors as alter egos Larry Fisherman and Delusional Thomas were celebrated as intriguing experimentation from an artist once believed to be as shallow as a kiddie pool. Subsequent albums GO:OD AM and The Divine Feminine were lauded, especially the latter, as signals of true growth and expansions of his artistry.

In about five years, Mac Miller went from one of the lowest brow and groaned about artists in rap’s ecosystem, to one of the most celebrated and appreciated. Suddenly, the frat boy had grown up, learned some stuff and more importantly, figured out how to project that in his music. It’s a success story that should serve as a model for some artists who hope to grow musically as they age. But more importantly, it should serve as a cautionary tale for those fans who often refuse to give those artists the necessary room to grow.

For hip-hop’s old guard that craves more traditional sounds, young artists like Lil Pump, Trippie Redd, Playboi Carti, Tekashi 6ix9ine and more are admonished constantly. Their work is shunned, as some wonder if it should even be bestowed the honor of being called rap or hip-hop. They’re written off, ignored by the older guard and cast aside as beneath them. When it’s time to eulogize hip-hop, their names are some of the first mentioned. To the old guard, they’ve ruined hip-hop, and all of the world’s ills are their fault.

The generational gap was never clearer than when Cole “interviewed” Lil Pump, who is 16 years his junior and quite literally young enough to be his child. Though there was a feeling of respect between the two, and genuine intrigue for J. Cole, the interview never strayed below the surface no matter how hard Cole tried. Instead, what fans got was an hour-long conversation between a fascinated adult and a disinterested but gracious teenager. Their strange beef was over, but the two worlds they represent never felt any closer. As much as Cole wanted to understand Pump, and as much as Pump was honored by the attempt, it just didn’t work.

But as Mac showed, a lot can happen in five years, especially for an artist who has yet to truly find themselves. There is no telling what the currently 17-year-old Lil Pump may be five years from now. When Kendrick Lamar was 19, he was mimicking Lil Wayne for an entire mixtape. When Cole was 17, he still went by his old alias The Therapist. Nobody truly knows who they are at 17, or 22, and chances are Mac Miller is still trying to figure things out at 26. But his growth has shone through, even though he’d previously been written off. It may be time to give the younger artists that are in the same shoes he was in all those years ago the chance to do the same.

When troubled Florida rapper XXXTentacion was gunned down at just 20 years old, one of the most common refrains was that he was evolving, growing and working to become a better person. Whether or not that was the case for his personal life, it was certainly true in his artistry. XXX long displayed his musical acumen, and genre-bending abilities, but on his final album ? he seemed to be finally finding the cohesion that his previous efforts lacked and truly mastering his craft.

Time will tell if his contemporaries can similarly find their footing, especially in the eyes of the old guard who often wish for safer, more familiar sounds and despise newer, foreign, weirder evolutions of what rap is and can potentially be. Trippie Redd and Playboi Carti may never diversify their content, but they could widen their palette and add new colors to their apparatus with which to paint their work. Maybe those fans will appreciate that, maybe not, but the growth won’t go completely unnoticed if they do try.

Mac is now readying the release of his fifth album, Swimming. Much like all of the work he’s released since his artistic epiphany, it appears it’ll be deeply personal. He’s recently been through a very public break up with his pop star ex-girlfriend Ariana Grande, and watched her immediately jump into an engagement with another man. His sobriety has been challenged, again. He has some legal troubles he’s dealing with thanks to that, and he’s busy trying to bust out of that mental coffin and dig himself out of his own mental grave. These are trying times for Mac Miller, and judging by agony, melancholy and catharsis that can be heard in his new music, it seems to all be manifesting itself in the studio. Hopefully, therapeutically so.

Eventually in the “Self Care” video, Mac stands peacefully amidst all the chaos. Seemingly, he’s learned to manage all of madness, and with the tranquil and serene way this moment is displayed, he seems to be relishing it. That’s growth, newfound maturity and a man finding himself and growing comfortable with just who that is, even if it’s damaged and flawed. Fortunately for Mac, he got the time and space necessary to do all of that growing, and now his fans old and new are reaping the benefits.

Maybe, thanks to him, the youngsters following in his footsteps and figuring themselves out on the way will get that same opportunity. And maybe, just maybe, with that chance they will develop into something our uncles can appreciate later.

Ash Exantus aka Ash Cash is one of the nation’s top personal finance experts. Dubbed as the Hip-Hop Financial Motivator, he uses a culturally responsive approach in teaching financial literacy. He is also a speaker, and bestselling author of six books. Ash has established himself as a thought leader and trusted voice with Corporate America, Colleges, Churches, and Community based organizations. Ash is best known for helping people maximize their full potentials by giving them the inspiration, tools, and resources needed to live their best lives. For more info on Ash please visit

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Personal Finances

Amazon Aims to Help People Build Credit + Credit Knowledge to Keep You on the Right Track



Amazon is opening up its rewards credit cards to people with no or bad credit. The tech giant and Synchrony Financial are launching “Amazon Credit Builder” for people who don’t qualify for the company’s other reward cards. The cards will offer Prime customers 5% cash back on Amazon purchases, with the person’s credit limit equal to the size of the deposit they make before receiving their card. Since 11% of the U.S. population have credit scores below 550, the move could increase Amazon’s customer base, says CNBC.

This seems like a good move for those who are unbanked or underbanked but without being of how to manage or maintain good credit this effort might exacerbate the problem. Many people are aware of the important role the credit rating plays in their lives. However, understanding what goes into a credit score (the credit score breakdown) might present some difficulty. There are several different methods of scoring, but most lenders and banks rely on the FICO method that has been in existence since the 1980’s when it was developed by the Fair Isaac Corporation. The three prominent credit bureaus (TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax) all worked with Fair Isaac in order to come up with the FICO algorithm.

Your credit score may be any number from 300 to 850. The average American falls at about 690 which is deemed relatively good credit. However, while this score should secure you a loan, it will not get you the very best interest rates on a loan. In fact, 300-640 = Bad Credit, 641-680 = Fair Credit, 681-720 = Good Credit, and 721-850 = Excellent Credit. Excellent credit should be the aim.

Following is the credit score breakdown:

Payment History

The biggest chunk of your score (35%) is derived from your payment history. This score is influenced by how well (or not) you pay your bills on time, how many have been sent to collection agencies, bankruptcies, tax liens, etc. Keep in mind that missing a payment is worse than making a late payment and that being late or especially missing a mortgage payment is a bigger blow to your credit score than missing a credit card or utility payment.

Usage Ratio

The amount of debt you have (compared to the amount of credit you have not used) accounts for 30 percent of your score. Try not to max your credit cards out. In fact, it is recommended that you only use 25 to 50 of the credit that is available to you. A way to balance this out is to obtain more lines of credit and not use them. However, you do not want to apply for a bunch of credit cards all at once as this is marked against you. If your credit is in good standing, apply for a reputable card every six months or so and save it for a rainy day.

Length of Credit History

Fifteen percent of your credit score is based on how long you’ve established credit. This is common sense. The longer your credit history, the better your overall score will be. More data about your past leads to a more accurate prediction of your future credit worthiness.

Credit Mix

Having several types of credit will actually boost your score if they are managed well. This counts for 10 percent of the overall rating.

New Credit

As mentioned earlier, opening new credit accounts all at once will negatively affect your score in the short term. It’s also important that you are aware that your score can be lowered for too many “hard inquiries” about your status. A “hard inquiry” is one that you have authorized a lender to perform. If you are inquiring about your own score, this will not count against you.

Understanding what goes into the credit score breakdown is the first step in improving your score and what will allow you to design your score and begin you on the journey to financial freedom.

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Personal Finances

How to Raise Your Credit Scores Instantly, for Free – Experian Is Changing the Credit Game for Millions



I’ve been a financial educator for over a decade and while many people inquire about better ways to save and budget, understanding credit is still the number one topic I teach. Credit can be a gift or a curse depending on how you use it. It can help you on your journey to financial freedom or it can keep you in a cycle of debt repayment. Understanding how your credit works is the first piece of the puzzle, but what happens when you know and understand the credit game but still can’t seem to get ahead?

Some believe credit is not necessary but the truth is that credit can sometimes be the deciding factor to your quality of life. Those who have high credit scores usually get the best rates on loans and/or have to put the least money down on high ticket purchases. On the flip side those who have a low credit score can find themselves paying higher interest rates, or worse be disqualified for basic life necessities like a job or shelter.

This is why I got excited when I heard about the Experian Boost program, that is helping millions of people across the country get the assistance they may need to take their life to the next level by getting better access to credit.

Check out the video below where I discuss the program in great detail and give you tips on how to properly manage your credit.  Simply put Experian Boost works by giving consumers credit for the utility and telecom bills they are already paying. This means your water, gas, electric, cable, and cell phone bills can all count to give you an instant boost on your credit scores.

This is an absolute game changer because for years many community based organizations have fought for better access to credit and  they asked for this exact feature for those who have opted to not use credit cards hence having a thin credit file. This not only works for those who have little credit activity but for everyone who would like an extra jump to their credit file.

The great news is that only positive payments will be factored into your credit file so boosting your score can only help you. In the rare instances were someone’s credit score goes down after boosting it, they can simply disconnect it from the Boost program and their score will go right back to where it was.

If you’re interested in seeing how Boost can help your credit score visit

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Personal Finances

Serena Williams Umpire Controversy: Why Knowing (and Using the Rules) Against Financial Institutions is Important in Personal Finances



Photo: GettyImages

Passion, as it pertains to sports, is what makes the game exciting, and when an athlete expresses that raw emotion, it makes for a more entertaining experience for the fans in the stand and viewers at home.

Unless you’re Serena Williams, then expressing emotion can cause you to lose the U.S. Open. Saturday, (Sept. 8) Naomi Osaka took the title defeating Williams, however, it was the 23 time Grand Slam Champion winner’s confrontation with umpire Carlos Ramos that made headlines.

During the final woman’s match, Ramos issued a warning to Williams over “coaching” because he thought her coach was giving her cues on the court. Williams disputed the matter stating “I don’t cheat to win, I’d rather lose.”

Ramos later gave her point penalty after she smashed her racket. She confronted him again to complain and called him a thief, to which he gave her “verbal abuse” penalty which cost her the game.

Backstage at a press conference, Williams said she hopes her expressing her emotions on the tennis court will one day be accepted among female athletes the way they are so liberally by male athletes.

“I just feel like the fact that I have to go through this is just an example for the next person that has emotions and that want to express themselves, and they want to be a strong woman, and they’re going to be able to do that because of today. Maybe it didn’t work out for me, but it’s going to work out for the next person.”

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