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by Esau Howard
15 November, 2011@10:19 am
7 comments

There is much to consider when discussing the curious case of Mac Miller. Having built a buzz all through mixtapes and his forever growing internet fan base, he’s certainly one of the more quickly rising names in Hip-Hop. Which is why his independent debut, Blue Slide Park is one of relevance. Despite it being a much anticipated album, Miller doesn’t necessarily excel at any one thing. He’s not the most technical lyricist, nor is he expected to make you re-evaluate your life with mind altering content. However as his previous mixtapes have shown he is quite consistent at what he does, can flow with the best of them, and brings a passion which many artists seem to lack these days. He’s going to get the “just another white rapper” tag by default, and while many will compare him to yet another more advanced, acclaimed rapper we’ll just call Shady, doing so wouldn’t be fair. Mac Miller has built his own distinct identity, which he puts on display throughout this album.

At first listen it’s easy to dismiss this as an album filled with nothing but “frat” rap. A bunch of songs catered to a mainstream audience with no real substance. Of course those that don’t skim through music will see it is much more than that. In fact songs such as the title track, “Blue Slide Park”, are exactly what Mac Miller has been delivering all along. He doesn’t switch up his formula for success, and there’s nothing wrong with that. “Smile Back” and “Frick Park Market” hold up surprisingly well as singles, as both have Mac rhyming over bass heavy tracks that should be played at high volumes at all times. “Hash Tag” Mac is someone who enjoys having fun, and welcomes all to join in. “Party on 5th Ave” will catch listeners ears immediately, as it samples “900 Number” by 45 King. You may not recognize the name of the song, but once the beat drops you will undoubtedly recognize it as one of the more popular samples of the 80’s party scene.

Mac Miller may not be the most lyrical up-and-comer in the game today, but he more than makes up for it in his delivery. In an age where some would argue it’s not what you say it’s how you say it, his flow is Grade A. It’s his ability to modify his flow on any given beat that makes otherwise weak efforts such as “PA Nights”, and “Of The Soul” worth sitting through. The Pittsburgh native brings plenty of energy and his own brand of charisma to a track, but his lack of content becomes noticeable and quick. For every standout song like “Missed Calls”, there’s a weaker effort in “Loitering” which brings him right back to square one. Then there’s the horrendous rock inspired experiment, “Up All Night” , where Mac sounds completely out of his element. It’s safe to say sticking with Hip-Hop is definitely his expertise.

It should be noted that there are no guest appearances on this album. In fact aside from I.D. Labs handling a majority of the production, Miller really plays this album close to the chest. He even takes a moment to big up his circle on the crew love anthem, “My Team”, and does it for dolo. Not bad when most rappers are always finding ways to sneak their fellow friends onto a track.
In the end, this album doesn’t live up to the hype that’s being laid out for Mac, and it leaves plenty of room for growth. However if it’s one thing that can be taken from this debut, it’s that he genuinely comes off as an artist who loves his craft. He treats his dream job as just that, a dream job. He doesn’t stray outside his lane, and his fans will definitely appreciate this body of work. While it doesn’t elevate him to the elite class of hip hop that some of his peers have graduated to, it’s a solid debut regardless. It’s the type of music that he has been putting out since he started gaining attention from the masses. Despite it’s shortcomings, Blue Slide Park is still an intriguing experience that will have you revisiting it the moment you think you’re ready to leave. What more could you ask for?

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7 Responses to "Mac Miller – "Blue Slide Park"- @@@ (Review)"
  • Dayz says:

    Fair review. I have been a big fan of his for years since stumbling across him on youtube and I really dig this LP! Add the fact it might hit #1 on the charts and that he did it independently you gotta give it to him! You may not be a fan of his music but everyone has to admire his work ethic, drive and passion for what he does. He is a true fan of Hip Hop music and embodies all that is Hip Hop and people should strive to be more like him. Have fun, enjoy what you are doing and just make happy music you can dance and party to… sidenote: I think “Up All Night” is one of the better songs on this LP, just my opinion tho…

  • co-sign…i thought the album was enjoyable and i really liked the “Loitering” track…he is a fan of music and he’s only 19 killing it right now…plus im sure bad reviews wont curve any of his fan base…i know that in a few years he’ll be up there with the best of em…but all in all good review except i wouldve bumped it up 1/2 @’s but thats just me…

  • BrucePtheGod says:

    Usually, if I don’t like something I can just chalk it up to being not my cup of tea, and that is normally perfectly fine. With Mac Miller the whole thing seems a bit strange. You have those who don’t seem to care for his stuff…but then there are these other cats. I don’t hear anybody complimenting his lyrics because there isn’t anything to compliment. Bare cupboard. I don’t hear anybody complimenting his beats. He gets complimented for enjoying himself and he works hard ? How far have we lowered the bar so that we have to dig deep to compliment the mediocre ?

    To those that have been hating a bit too much…You have to realize this isn’t the 90′s anymore. Those days are long gone. This dude is not any worse than most major label rappers, he’s just not any better either. He is very much a product of the times. As much as he shouts out Big L and other legends, he isn’t trying to write like them, or create cohesive albums like them. If he is trying to measure up to them, even he will figure out that he is more their generic, safe, non threatening white counterpart that has always been inevitable.

  • Dayz says:

    @Bruce interesting take on the situation and you have some valid points. But I will go on record saying I enjoy his lyrics and think he has a great production team behind him. His music bumps and is really fun to listen to. While he may not bring the most complex poetry ever he has cohesive verses and songs and the thing is his songs are enjoyable to listen to. Isn’t that all that matters really? If a song sounds good to you then that’s what’s important.

  • khordkutta says:

    @ Artie, stop givin passes, due to an emcees age, think about how many CLASSICS were crafted by cats in their teens, this dude and tyler are constantly given passes due 2 age.

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