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At the Frick Park Market, made famous in one of Miller’s music videos, the day took a sudden and sad turn.
KDKA’s Bob Allen Reports:
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Co-owner John Prodan says he’s known Miller, who was born Malcolm McCormick, since he was just 15- or 16-years-old.
Prodan says as a teen, Miller would frequent the market and stand outside selling his CDs to his friends. He remembers the rapper as caring, humorous and high energy.
“This is the store that he came to, like all the kids at the end of the day, to get their candy after school. They hung out here and off they go,” said Prodan. “He used to hang out front here and sell CDs for $3 to his cronies, and they weren’t good in the beginning, but he got himself together and became a star and we’re really proud of him.”
Miller loved the store so much he made music video there in 2011.
“His drive was tremendous. He cared about the neighborhood, cared about people, and that’s one reason he made a video about our store,” Prodan said.
Watch the video here (WARNING: Explicit Language):
Locals at the market are in disbelief following Miller’s apparent drug overdose in California. Prodan says the market’s phone has been ringing off the hook with words of condolence and comfort since the news broke.
“Not understanding why it happened. Yeah, we understand how it did happen, which really needs to stop,” Prodan said.
“He was just so fun and so sweet, had a whole life ahead of him,” said Maggie Cook, co-owner of Frick Park Market. “It’s very sad. We’ve been having numerous phone calls from fans all over the world who are sharing their grief with us. I had no idea who big he was going to become.”
Over at the Evergreen Café, also in Miller’s native Point Breeze, owner Phil Bacharach was devastated to hear the news.
Miller stopped by to visit with Bacharach and some of his of friends a few years ago at Thanksgiving time, when he was in town visiting his family.
“He came down, we all played a Turkey Bowl. He came down and had to fill up his mother’s tires on her bicycle, and he didn’t know how to do it, so I helped him do it,” said Bacharach. “Then, we all hung out for a while, and everyone picked on him, then he went home and had Thanksgiving with his family like you’re supposed to.”
Bacharach said Miller never acted like a rap star around him.
“One time he needed beer and I told him, ‘Come on down the cellar and help me carry it up,’ and he said, ‘Mr. Bacharach, I’m famous,” and I said, ‘You’re not famous here, come downstairs and help me carry it up,’ and he did.”
Miller graduated from Taylor Allderdice High School in 2010. He was just 26-years-old.