President Trump has been silent about the passing of Mac Miller, but before Trump entered politics, he had a lot to say about the rapper, who died last Friday at 26.
One of Miller’s earliest singles, “Donald Trump,” was released in 2011. Trump appeared to be pleased when the song was first released, tweeting, “Who wouldn’t be flattered?” after the song’s music video racked up millions of views, but he soon turned on Miller.
In January 2013, Trump posted a photo of a plaque for the song he said he received from Miller. The track would soon be certified platinum by the RIAA for one million downloads, and Trump claimed Miller didn’t have the right to use his name.
Throughout 2013, Trump attacked Miller on Twitter in a manner that’s now familiar to those who read his tweets as a candidate or as president. He called the rapper “Little @MacMiller” and a “dog,” threatened to sue him, and took credit for the song’s success.
Trump lobbed insults at Miller and said he should be paid for the song.
“The big problem for little @MacMiller is that he’s going to have to have another hit song, not just his Donald Trump bonanza,” Trump tweeted in April.
But Miller did have hits after “Donald Trump.” He released five studio albums that reached the top five of the Billboard 200 album chart, and in 2013, “The Way,” with Ariana Grande, reached No. 9 on the Hot 100, his highest-charting song.
Trump tweeted to or about Miller at least 50 times between 2011 and 2015. He finally dropped his beef in March 2015, about three months before he announced his presidential campaign. In his final tweet about Miller, Trump wrote that Miller needed to “come up with another hit - just do it!”
Miller’s “Donald Trump” followed in the tradition of other rap songs that celebrated Trump before he entered politics. Trump was once a popular public figure to name-check in songs to reference wealth and celebrity, but today, many of the rappers have changed their tune about him, including Miller.
“When he started running for president I was like ah f***, this is horrible, I have a f***ing song with this dude’s name and now he’s just being such a f***ing douchebag,” he told Complex in 2013, suggesting he could just have easily named it after someone like Bill Gates instead. And in 2015, Miller tweeted at his fans to not vote for Trump.