Rating: 7.5 / 10
Macadelic begins with the intro, “Love Me As I Have Loved You”– filled with lust-filled women speaking in all different directions and languages, shrouded in a hazy backdrop with the melody ‘Row-Row-Row Your Boat’ being whistled. The mixtape, featuring the likes of Kendrick Lamar and Lil’ Wayne, bears a cover and title possibly influenced by Jimi Hendrix in his Ladyland years, contains several movie samples like Willy Wonka, and even has a “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” melody thrown in. This comes after mixed reviews for his debut album Blue Slide Park, and this melting pot of ideas and sounds may be the perfect remedy for the young spitter.
The best part of this project is the production. Almost every beat here places you in a trance that’s hard to escape, especially if you’re listening through headphones. “Thoughts From A Balcony” is the first track that really grabs you, with synth lines that circle around your eardrum and synths that keep it at a steady rhythm. “Angels (When She Shuts Her Eyes)” relies on dramatic instrumentation provided by Clams Casino. “The Mourning After” and “Fight The Feeling” also do a good job of this, with the latter keeping an uncanny optimistic tone. It features Kendrick Lamar, whose flow is also uncanny: “Hours out my day/ Just to find power/ Shit to say/But, you won’t hear it/Even if your ears were pierced with/ Beats by Dre.”
Features are welcomed here, as he sometimes seems uncomfortable carrying the workload in his own. Though there are signs of improvement on his flow and lyricism (“Desperado”, “1 Threw 8”), Mac still seems to bounce and feed off of the guest rappers that accompany him. “America”, produced by beat-tape alum Hannibal King, features Casey Veggies and Joey BadA$$ who both provide memorable contributions over the war, villain-esque sounds, as does Mac. “Aliens Fighting Robots” has futuristic sounds that make it sound like it was recorded in a Halo video game studio, and guest Sir Michael Rocks has his phasers set to kill rather than stun. Speaking of extraterrestrial weapons, the self-proclaimed Martian Lil’ Wayne makes an appearance on “The Question”, a groove heavy jam where Weezy brings some needed life.
The pros outweigh the cons on Macadelic. Miller also has a few braggadocio tracks that are hit (“Lucky Ass Bitch” featuring Juicy J) and miss (“Ignorant” featuring Cam’Ron), but Mac is smarter here than he was on Blue Slide Park. He’s better when he sits back and lets the beats and catchy hooks do most of the work. Even fans of hating on Mac Miller won’t be able to deny most of these grooves.