Mac Miller loses steam on latest album

Jeff Ihaza | April 4, 2012    

Mac Miller’s “hometown hero” persona launched his catapult to popularity… Macadelic

Mac Miller


Grade: D

Rocks Like: The annoying “rapper” from your high school

Mac Miller’s “hometown hero” persona launched his catapult to popularity.

This certainly wasn’t a terrible quality. Even people who grew up far from the Steel City — myself included — could somehow relate to the Taylor Allderdice alum’s nonsensical high school ramblings.

If his debut album Blue Slide Park didn’t prove his shortcomings as an emcee to die-hard fans, his latest tape Macadelic surely must.

At best, Mac Miller is that kid from your high school who would provide an entertaining freestyle at the lunch table. At his worst, like on Macadelic, Mac Miller is an “artist” incapable of thinking he has a single bad idea.

The record attempts to delve into deep topics like love and what it means to live in America. It’d be easy to commend Miller for at least being ambitious if his lyrics didn’t reek of cliches and failed attempts at sounding intellectual. On “America” he raps for the sake of rhyme: “Mac Miller I’m the only one / but I’m the coldest one / this is pandemonium.”

The rap industry is flooded with kids flaunting street-wear brands and an MPC1000 loaded with indie music samples.

Along with the woefully popular Chiddy Bang, Mac Miller belongs to a generation that depends on non-talent-requiring rap gimmicks empowered by the Internet’s ease of availability. The difference with Miller is that he desperately wants us to believe he’s a real rapper.

In an attempt at proving this, Macadelic is loaded with features from heavyweights like Juicy J, Lil Wayne and Kendrick Lamar. Every track featuring a veteran emcee displays Miller awkwardly attempting — and failing — to keep up.

Perhaps the best example is on “Fight the Feeling,” where — aside from calling himself “a Beatle to these young kids” — Miller is totally outshone by Lamar. This is particularly unfortunate given that it’s one of Lamar’s weaker flows.

On “Ignorant,” Miller follows in the already tired trend of borrowing the chords of “Ni**as in Paris” in an attempt at a “street rap” track. Cam’ron comes on the track and shows Miller what street rap really is, providing his trademark grittiness and basically saving the song.

Blue Slide Park was a commercial success despite being entirely independently released, but whether or not this is a good thing is debatable. While Miller is certainly doing good work in fighting big-industry juggernauts, his rise to stardom is a sign that untalented suburb rap isn’t going anywhere.

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