Critical Voices: Mac Miller, Blue Slide Park

November 10, 2011

Malcolm McCormick, better known as the rapper Mac Miller and formerly known as the rapper Easy Mac, is just another Internet rapper. However, despite his small label—Wiz Khalifa’s Rostrum Records—and his seemingly standard weed-heavy blog-rap approach, he has managed to separate himself from the pack and gain a massive following.
With his debut, Blue Slide Park, Miller’s fame will probably pile up, but there could be no lower form of unwarranted fame.
On the album’s title track, I.D. Labs produces a dark trance-like beat that resembles the work of one of Miller’s supposed influences, ?uestlove from The Roots. However, Miller fails to deliver lyrics worthy of the ear-grabbing beat. His rhymes fail to meet the technical ability or metaphorical genius of the big-name giants he tries to model his music after. When it comes down to it, Miller is just another average college rapper dropping memes and “Daily Show” references, rapping about the labels he wears and then denouncing Lamborghinis and Louis Vuitton shoes in the next line.
“Party On Fifth Ave.” has a Beastie Boys-esque beat that gets you bobbing your head, but it’s assaulted by Miller’s ridiculously absurd lines. With great detail, he notes “My light up shoes on/They love the way my kicks flash.” Grasping desperately for some lyrical creativity, he spits, “I ain’t no hipster—girl I can make your hips stir.” Every rapper has dropped a line we wince at and try to forget, but the regularity with which Miller assaults the ear is astounding.
While Miller claims that he is attempting to distance himself from the frat rap label that has always followed him, he does a pretty great job of doing the exact opposite here. Chanting “drink, drink, drink, drink” doesn’t really convey his anti-party anthem message to his detractors.
Apparently as a substitute for creativity, Miller chose to make pop culture similes his only source of lyrical ingenuity. Whether he is “going against the world like Scott Pilgrim” on “Loitering,” or talking how he “mooned the crowd, Randy Moss shit,” Miller seemingly has no other recourse but to recount semi-funny events that have happened in his short and boring life.
“My album is fly/Your favorite record, you gonna put it aside,” Miller predicts. It’s a bold, ill-conceived boast that he has no chance of living up to, and, like much of Blue Slide Park, it comes off grating and silly. It’s maddening that a musician like Mac Miller exists and is successful in the world.  So please, do us all a favor and ignore this wannabe fly-guy before he becomes an insufferable star.


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