White rapper from upper Rust Belt conquers world – sound familiar? Pittsburgh's Mac Miller, the Wiz Khalifa labelmate whose debut LP has already topped the album charts, is no Marshall Mathers. But when his themes stick close to Steeltown, he's likable enough. When his rhymes turn celebratory – in the old-school "Party on Fifth Ave." and frat-drunk "Up All Night," say – he can be propulsive, too.
New Musical Express (NME) - 70 Based on rating 3.5/5
In hip-hop years, 20-year-old Malcolm ‘Mac Miller’ McCormick is practically old school. He’s released one album and seven mixtapes since 2007. Then he was featured as part of a wet dream of hip-hop hopefuls alongside Yelawolf and Lil B on hip-hop magazine XXL’s Freshman list of 2011, certifying him as a baby-faced one to watch. He’s come a long way since he released ‘But My Mackin’ Ain’t Easy’ at just 16 years old.It’s unsurprising, therefore, that ‘Blue Slide Park’ (named after a favourite childhood hangout of Miller’s in Pittsburgh) is undercut with reflections on where Mac’s been.
Mac Miller’s rise to notoriety has been impressive. Even though Blue Slide Park is going down as his debut album, Miller’s already one of the culture’s most anticipated up and coming emcees. Spring boarding off mixtape success, Miller has catapulted to a world where fame, criticism and praise are all at his doorstep. In dropping this album, many are questioning if he can withstand the pressure bestowed upon him or if he will cave.
Is Pittsburgh the new center of the hip-hop universe? Wiz Khalifa spent the first part of 2011 on top of the world, and now fellow Steeltown native Miller gets the call-up after a year in the minors gathering Twitter followers (he’s got more than a million) and clawing his way from mixtape features to a spot on Maroon 5’s ”Moves Like Jagger” remix. Miller sticks with a cruise-controlled slow burn for most of Blue Slide Park, his full-length debut, getting smelt-hot only on the faux-hardcore slamboree ”Up All Night.” B- Download These:Mind-bender LoiteringHometown glory PA Nights .
Throw a joint, bong, or bottle of booze in rapper Mac Miller’s hands and he’ll mug for the camera while taking the party to another level, and if there’s such a thing as slacker hoodie grace, his chalice overflows with it. Think Asher Roth with madder skills or Eminem without spite or baggage and you’ve got Miller in a nutshell, with some extra details being his charming, Pittsburgh-loving attitude along with his affiliation with a killer hometown production team called ID Labs, who help make Blue Slide Park sound like the old-school party rocking with the new school. This blast of college-kid enthusiasm that doubles as Miller’s official debut does come with some slight issues though, and if you don’t feel like poppin’ bottles or mackin’ on the honeys, it seems caught in a redundant loop of wine, women, and bong.
At the 2000 VMAs, Eminem's performance of "The Real Slim Shady" featured him walking across Sixth Avenue in Manhattan and into Radio City Music Hall followed by a few hundred extras that had been styled in his image, bleached hair and all. The performance was an arresting, and very literal, visual representation of the song's claim of there being "a million of us just like me." Pittsburgh rapper Mac Miller is having his "'The Real Slim Shady' at the VMAS" moment right now, even if he'll never actually perform there. There are hundreds of thousands of listeners trailing him intensely-- Blue Slide Park sold just about 145,000 copes in its first week in stores, making it the first independently distributed debut album to go No.
If Mac Miller’s ascent into stardom has faced its share of music industry woes, it’s certainly been hidden well. The 19-year-old Pittsburgh MC has been sporting a shit-eating grin ever since breaking through with his 2010 mixtape K.I.D.S.—and with good reason. It’s a peculiar time in music when artists are able to cultivate such a colossal following (check his million-plus Twitter followers and sold-out shows) without the backing of a major label, radio, or even a debut album.
While it’s evident how he’s won hearts, Miller’s not the complete package yet. Adam Kennedy 2012 Hip hop has hit something of a self-aware apex in the 21st century's first decade, having learned which buttons to press to ensure success. Pittsburgh native Mac Miller might very well sum up the phenomenon with this debut album proper, finally earning a UK bow after confirming his ascent on its stateside release in November 2011.