Mac Miller has always been a bit of an enigma to me, not so much in his music and what he stands for but more for the high profile hip hop artists who have given him a co-sign. Everyone from Bun B to DJ Premier have given their so called stamp of approval to the young emcee, and I really was having trouble determining why. While I have heard the singles of “Donald Trump” and thought that they were catchy, fun, simple hip hop songs, but really nothing to write home about. Looking more into the story of Mac miller I have gained a little more respect for the young rapper, who opted to sign with an indie label instead of a major in order to ensure that his album turns out the way he wants it. As well he seems to have a great knowledge of the greats of hip hop and shows respect and gives props to those that came before him. Miller recently released his debut album, Blue Slide Park, but does Miller manage to capture the fun of his childhood or does the album show the immaturity of Miller??
1. "English Lane" produced by Ritz Reynolds
2. "Blue Slide Park" produced by I.D. Labs
3. "Party on Fifth Avenue produced by I.D. Labs
4. "PA Nights" produced by Mansions On the Moon
5. "Frick Park Market" produced by I.D. Labs
6. "Smile Back" produced by I.D. Labs
7. "Under the Weather" produced by I.D. Labs
8. "Of the Soul" produced by I.D. Labs
9. "My Team" produced by Clams Casino
10. "Up All Night" produced by I.D. Labs
11. "Loitering" produced by I.D. Labs, Young L
12. "Hole in My Pocket" produced by Ritz Reynolds
13. "Diamonds & Gold" produced by I.D. Labs, D-True
14. "Missed Calls" produced by Ritz Reynolds
15. "Man in the Hat" produced by I.D. Labs, Ritz Reynolds
16. "One Last Thing" produced by Clams Casino
Putting in the album and pressing play I was somewhat caught off guard by the first track, “English Lane”, which has Miller reminiscing about his early childhood and how simple it was compared to his life now. It is almost a plead from Miller wishing he could go back to those early days of his life and is a really mellow track compared to what Miller is mostly known for.
Miller picks up the pace a bit with the title track ‘Blue Slide Park” where has Miller again talking about his famed childhood park where he used to hang and get high. Following that track the second single “Party on Fifth Ave” tries to get the album back to its partying ways and the use of the sample from “The 900 Number” by The 45 king or from “Let Me Clear My Throat” by DJ Kool.
While most of the production is handled by I.D. Labs, who manages to provide a suitable hip hop soundtrack, complete with pounding bass lines, the album is somewhat let down by Miller himself. He really has not matured enough into an artist to make a complete album. The album really goes in a more serious direction with song like “Man in The Hat” which has the best flow on the album by Miller and “One Last Thing” again has Miller reminiscing about the past. Mille however really cannot keep up lyrically to the production. While his voice and flow are nice on certain songs, the majority of time his lyrics are far too simple. Punchlines such as “"I ain't talking Slim when I say these bitches Shady” are far too simplistic for the amount of promotion and press Miller has received as an up and comer in hip hop. Miller really does not show much in terms of his lyrical ability, relying heavily on the production to carry the album. Miller also shows his immaturity in creating music with his inability to create complete tracks. Over half the tracks on the album are less than 3 minutes in length, with only 1 of the 16 tracks moving past the 3:30 mark. It almost seems like on some songs Miller gets bored or simply cannot stay on a single topic for very long, hence the short tracks.
The album does have its share of good songs. Tracks like “Under The Weather” are more along the lines that the album should have gone, with Miller rapping about money, girls, his new lifestyle as well as other teenage topics. As well “Up All night” has a great rock type beat and really should be used as a next single as it could really be a party anthem for the next couple months with a chanting chorus about drinking. These types of tracks are the type of tracks that Mac Millers audience wants to listen to and are really the tracks where Miller stands out.
While Mac Miller in young, his debut album is disappointing and does not live up tot he hype that he has been given over the last year or so. Surprisingly the album is not all about teenage parting, and tries to be more serious. The album would have been much better had Miller stuck to what he does best, and that is create party tracks and having fun with his music. It is almost as if he was trying too hard to show that he has multiple aspects. The end result is somewhat of a mess of an album that has decent production but is limited by Millers lyrical ability.
The 411: Mac Miller released his debut album, which was mostly a disappointment. Surprisingly the album is not all about teenage partying, and tries to be more serious. The album would have been much better had Miller stuck to what he does best, and that is create party tracks and having fun with his music.The end result is somewhat of a mess of an album that has decent production but is limited by Millers lyrical ability.