Monday, November 7th, 2011 at 7:08 pm
Artist: Mac Miller
Album: Blue Slide Park
Label: Rostrum Records
The suits at Rostrum Records couldn’t have picked a better time to release Mac Miller’s debut album as his buzz is at an all time high. He is fresh off co signs courtesy of everyone from DJ Premier to Donald Trump. He is absolutely killing it in the viral video department, which is key to the success of any up and coming artist in today’s day and age. On top of all that, the white rapper movement is in total effect right now, and one could make the case that no one has benefited from it more than Mac Miller. However, at just nineteen years of age, Mac Miller’s most important asset is his youth as his goofy carefree image makes him relatable to kids all across America (at least in the burbs) in a way that hip-hop has never really seen before. As a result, Blue Slide Park artistically reflects Mac Miller’s life as he makes the transition from being just a regular kid chilling in Pittsburgh to regular kids all across the country knowing his name.
It’s ironic that some people label Mac Miller as hip-hops future, because aside from his appearance, his style is very reminiscent of hip-hops past. There are obvious examples like the sample of DJ Kool’s “Let Me Clear My Throat” on “Party On Fifth Ave” or Mac’s De La Soul reference on “Of The Soul” but if you examine Blue Slide Park to the fullest you will find that Mac Miller actually understands and respects the roots of hip hop culture.
Even more noticeably with Blue Slide Park, you will find that Mac Miller understands what it means to be a kid. You’re not going to find any in depth political commentary, stories about serious relationships, or anything more intellectual than a clever punch line with this album – but that’s the whole point. Chances are most of you who cop Blue Slide Park are in college, high school or maybe even younger. But for the few of you that have been able to legally drink in this country for a minute, this album will take you back to the days when you were sipping on a water bottle full of vodka from your parent’s liquor cabinet. Songs like “Party On Fifth Ave” and “Loitering”, which easily contains the most unique beat on the album, are sure to bring back memories of house parties and just chilling at all of the hangout spots in your hometown. “Frick Park Market” is another nostalgic joint as the title alone makes you think of your local go to grub spot. All of this paints a very accurate picture of Mac’s life as a kid in Pittsburgh, a picture that many young listeners are bound to find familiar.
There are some instances on the album where the artist formally known as Easy Mac shows signs of potential maturity. The first that comes to mind is on “PA Nights” where Mac breaks down his life in more ways than one as he discusses everything from his flourishing career to his Jewish heritage. The Clams Casino produced “One Last Thing” also contains some introspective lyrics and serves as a fitting way to end the album. Clams also produced the track “My Team” however, both of his beats on this project are pretty basic and don’t sound like his usual work (you know, the sh*t that made that A$AP Rocky mixtape so hot). In fact, the majority of the production on Blue Slide Park is pretty straightforward, which is not necessarily a bad thing.
One song off Blue Slide Park that is definitely worth listening to is “Under The Weather”. The hook on this one is too catchy for even the most purist of underground hip-hop heads to hate on. The track “Man In The Hat” also deserves props. On the other hand, the song to stay away from on this one is without a doubt “Up All Night”. That joint kind of makes me want to take back everything I said about this kid understanding and respecting hip-hop culture. When Mac starts belting out the chorus on “Up All Night” I asked myself why isn’t someone who can actually sing on the hook? Then I realized, there is not a single feature on Blue Slide Park, which is something that you rarely see nowadays. But then again when your name is Mac Miller, you don’t really need other artists jumping on your tracks to help sell the album.
I wouldn’t really say that I was a fan of Mac Miller’s music before this project, I don’t exactly know if I’m a fan after listening to it either. But one thing is for sure and that is the fact that Blue Slide Park demands your respect, and Mac Miller has successfully earned mine. Aside from all the qualities that give Malcolm McCormick the potential to be a superstar, the kid is nice on the mic and that’s something that does not go unnoticed on this album. Sure he has a ways to go, but the dude is only nineteen and if he continues to play his cards right then Mac Miller is going to have a long career ahead of him.