Mac Miller

Album Review: Mac Miller’s “Blue Slide Park”

Rating: 6.5/10

Mac Miller used to be known as Wiz Khalifa’s little homie when he first broke onto the scene, but things are quite different now. Creating a buzz disassociated from anyone but himself, the Pittsburgh representative has gained the approval of many Hip-Hop heavyweights while still maintaining a sound that appears to be ripe for today’s market – a big accomplishment. Blue Slide Park is Miller’s debut album, and listeners of the genre might be divided – between those who want to see him flourish, and those who expected him to fail.

To begin, you have to understand a couple of things here. Mac Miller has been put on by an array of established artists and industry vets, including DJ Premier, DJ Jazzy Jeff, 9th Wonder, Bun B, Talib Kweli, and others. The fact that a white kid who is younger than A Tribe Called Quest’s The Low End Theory is getting instant acclaim from such giants in the genre has brought loads of hate, jealousy, and expectation. To be fair, Mac has been a very humble young man throughout all of this, giving out all the appropriate love and homage warranted. However, this seems to have disappeared on Blue Slide Park.

The majority of Blue Slide Park’s production is handled by I.D. Labs, Ritz Reynolds, and Clams Casino – which wouldn’t be a problem if all of the beats were tight. But the majority aren’t. “Up All Night” sounds like a limited attempt at a Hip-Hop oriented Blink-182 track, “Smile Back” sounds like a undershot attempt at a braggadocio Wiz track, and “PA Nights,” “Diamonds & Gold,” and “Frick Park Market” all sound like underwhelming attempts at Mac Miller tracks. It’s as if he hasn’t found his sound yet, which would be understandable if he hadn’t already established his sound with mixtapes and loose tracks.

There are a couple of songs on the LP that are listenable: “Blue Slide Park” is cool, as is “Under The Weather” and “Missed Calls.” “Party on Fifth Ave” samples DJ Kool’s “Let Me Clear My Throat,” and which lends mild intrigue. Songs like “Of The Soul” connect for a verse, but then lose steam due to the mic skills, or lack thereof, of Mac.  You don’t listen to Mac Miller for his lyrics; he’s not quite there yet. The appeal has always been his dope production, and the fact that he doesn’t do too much to mess up the groove. But when the groove isn’t established, and he fails to call on his aforementioned ‘super-friends,’ the attention is left all on him. And simply put, Miller needs more experience as a rapper right now.

Although he has denied it before, Mac Miller is a ‘hipster.’ In fact, he is one of leaders of the ever-growing militia of hipsters. It was cool when Miller was wearing snap-backs and sampling Nas, or shouting out Wu-Tang, or rapping over Lord Finesse beats – it sounded good. But Blue Slide Park seems to ditch this approach, while still wearing a snap-back. So now, by some, Mac Miller will likely be labeled by some as a young hipster who is doing Hip-Hop culture wrong. Actually, he’s a real fan of Hip-Hop with under-developed rhymes and mainstream-production problems. Bummer.

  • Drew Roberts

    Lets talk about your writing skills. This is a horrible and inaccurate review. While I agree the producers could have dropped better beats his flow is crazy and what is bringing him to the top. From his mix-tapes to his debut album, this was great. Not the best obviously, but def worth following.

  • ladynamor

    Ive seen worse reviews, you gave him a break. Great writing.

    • RickJamesSon

      yeah wasnt a huge fan of the album either…question is who has the better overall debut… mac or childish gambino? 

      • GEORGE BOYD

        childish I think, but I’m picking up both. Gambino posted the whole album on his website if you wanna preview it

      • ladynamor

        seriously i never heard any of either of their stuff, and nobody i know has either (shrug) ?

      • Then why are you here?…

      • childish gambino hands down

  • Totally can tell this review was written by a person that barely even knows anything about Mac Miller’s music in depth. Lol even degraded his image, damn.

    • Anthony Cannatella

      No. He said that his other mixtapes were good. I’ve been a mac fan from the start and agree with him. It’s sad that But Mackin’ ain’t Easy, an album not even intended to be released and with poor mixing over instrumentals of different songs, is 1,000 times better. It actually has some of my favorite songs from him(because they’re not mainstream). I hope mac will realize that he needs to go back to that, and hopefully make a more than just ‘passable’ album.

  • tomjones102010

    Your writing skills are poor. You think you’d want to fix that if you’re going to sit here and try to intelligently dis a good rapper.. I guess not. What are you even judging his “sound” off of? Best Day Ever? Kids? Try going back to Mac from the beginning.. and you’ll see he’s stayed true to the shit it’s been spitting since The Jukebox. And who are you to say what defines today’s hip hop? He’s got his own sound, unlike some of these broke ass niggas just trying to get famous by rapping about that average shit with average beats. Mac is doing his own shit and not copying anyone, being original and fabulous.. that’s the important thing about music. I like the songs and think he’s a good artist.. and I think you’re just a hater cause you’re not doing something with your life like he is. Just admit that he’s a good rapper and stop trying to bring him down.

  • Pingback: hiphop » Mac Miller Goes Home On Blue Slide Park – MTV.com()

  • jeff rehfeldt

    I have followed mac for a long time and I enjoyed this album. Mac is a hipster and I am a hipster.. just blaze

  • hdog2012

    what a poor review…. after the first couple listens i can say that i like kids more but this is still an above average hip hop album, especially compared to stuff now a days. mac miller puts his own perspective and spin, he talks about real shit. if you cant relate thats your problem but dont knock it, because this is a lot better then the majority of shit thats coming out now.

    • you’re an idiot. ‘stuff now a days’? Do you even know what you’re talking about? There is a revolution in Hip Hop and Mac Miller is definitely the antithesis to that movement. Mac Miller doesn’t talk about real shit. He’s superficial and boring. He talks about the SAME shit on every song. But he is young and does have potential. But NO WHERE near being considered above average hip hop. Go listen to J. Cole or Kendrick. Or Big Krit and ASAP Rocky. Dudes with way more talent and are much more conscious about what they put in their songs.

  • paperfemalek9

    Great review! i applaud the writer. people who disagree with this review must also think lil wayne is still good. 

  • hdog2012 your an idiot if you think he’s “knocking” on mac miller, he’s just speaking the truth. There is a
    lotta good music coming out you just clearly dont know where to look

  • Great review… you were spot on.

  • What ever happened to Big Jerm on production?  That dude was sick.

  • its white kid rap its not hipster rap what a stupid review

    • leeFX

      Agreed….. hipster rap = Childish Gambino.

  • Pingback: Is Mac Miller A Douche Bag?? | Click here for latest music news (full color articles)()

  • Pingback: “Blue Slide Park” Review Round Up | bigmacmiller.com()

  • He’s lost what people loved him for, his fun sound. He went from making songs about smoking weed that put everyone in a good excited mood, like the mix-tape KIDS. But now he’s just kind of lost it… Which is sad because I was a huge Mac Miller fan, went to his shows multiple times, but after KIDS I think he started taking himself too seriously.

  • Pingback: How To Get Over 285 Million Video Views? -()