Mac Miller has gone from being the white kid from Pittsburgh with a catchy mixtape to having a Billboard #1 independent album and being the most marketable, up-and-coming rapper in the game. He has been approved by an array of established artists and industry vets, including DJ Premier, DJ Jazzy Jeff, 9th Wonder, Bun B, Talib Kweli, and others. Amongst all the excitement his fans have grown beyond the average pothead college kid into the mainstream radio listeners and even underground indie enthusiasts. The fact is, a white kid who is younger than A Tribe …
DJBooth Album Review
The fact is, a white kid who is younger than A Tribe Called Quest’s The Low End Theory is getting instant acclaim from giants in the genre, along with mainstream money and popularity. Naturally this brings loads of hate, jealousy, and expectation. There is no doubt that Mac has heard tons of well-deserved praise and hype; but recently, especially after Blue Slide Park, harsh criticism has poked out its ugly head. Is Mac a hipster? A Vanilla Ice reincarnation? A ‘one mixtape wonder’? Or a ‘sell out’? Well, Miller has been listening and waiting patiently. At last, Macadelic is his response.
“Running out of paper, writing on my hand, hundred thousand haters, writing bout my jams. Want a number one independent album I’m your man.” - from Desperado
People love Mac Miller for his youth, his excitement, and his witty punch lines backed up by "Most Dope" production. But Macadelic is a three dimensional mixtape with all of the above, plus a newfound layer of lyrical depth and genuine insecurity. When you stop to think, Mac is only twenty and he’s been tirelessly chasing his dreams since he was sixteen. The dream of being a young artist has made Miller an icon, but even his smallest actions are reverberated amongst the hip hop world and seen by thousands of kids trying to emulate the drug abusing ‘hipster’ rapper they see on TV. Although the recent money and fame must be nice, it has come at a price that Mac was not expecting.
“When you’re young you’re just trying to live your life and have some fun, in a world where you have yet to see just how evil it’s become.” - Fight the Feeling
Mac Miller’s maturity, artistically and as a person, is what I come away with in Macadelic. This mixtape is Mac’s chance to vent all his worries and problems. The best tracks, The Question, Fight the Feeling and Thoughts from a Balcony, are the saddest and most self-reflective of Mac’s young career. He says what everyone is thinking about him with striking accuracy and in a way that could come across as cliché but to me seems relatable. The fame and fortune Mac has received doesn’t seem enough for him and he strives for a deeper purpose with his music. Life might be more confusing for Mac, but its definitely helping his music.
First I shook a million hands, then took a million pictures,
But I’m a hostage in my own world’.
Now my thoughts my own enemy, I got no time for these bitches."
- The Question
But Macadelic is not just a sad musical psychiatrist meeting. With Loud, Ignorant featuring Cam’ron, and Lucky A*s B*tch featuring Juicy J, Mac stuck to his guns and brings out the party feel that got him on top in the first place. There is no doubt he’s having fun and enjoying a plethora of drugs (see the Loud music video for proof). It must be hard being hated on, but as the old saying goes, "If you ain’t being hated on, you ain’t doin’ sh*t."
"I got codeine in my cup, bet you’re ass I’m sippin’. / Groupies fall in love, b*tch you must be trippin." - Loud
I think that Macadelic is a huge success for Mr. Miller and his team for three reasons. First, it shows his versatility and growth potential as an artist. Critics thought he was shallow and one-dimensional, not any more. Second, Macadelic shows that Mac is above all a musician. The production from I.D. Labs, Clams Casino and Ritz Reynolds is impeccable and the choice of samples and smooth flowing grooves makes Miller’s sound untouchable. And lastly, this mixtape is a glimpse into the future of Mac Miller filled with diversity, creativity and passion. This shows that not only has the young Pittsburgh native created a path for himself, without having to sell out, but that the path is growing and branching off all around the world. With more projects like Macadelic, Mac Miller will soon be headed for greatness.
DJBooth Rating - 4 Spins
Written by Max August on 04/4/12
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