Daily $wagg grades reviews based upon the Grade Point Average scale. Identical to the system used by most schools to measure academic excellence, Daily $wagg grades an album track-by-track on a scale of 0-4 (F-A) then adds them and divides by the number of total tracks leaving an overall average somewhere from 0-4. Albums will also receive grades for Lyrical Preformance (flow, voice, etc.), Lyrical Content (what they rap about), and Production (beats, instrumentals, etc.).
Though Mac Miller’s debut album, Blue Slide Park, was released nearly a month and a half ago, I decided to review it anyway. The album was very significant chart-wise, becoming the first album from an independent label (Rostrum Records) to top the Billboard since the Dogg Pound Gangstaz first effort, Dogg Food, hit number 1 in ’95. Since I am from Pittsburgh and have known about Mac Miller pre-K.I.D.S. I tried to let my personal feeling about him effect this review as little as possible. With that being said, here’s my take on Blue Slide Park.
Within the last year, you would be hard-pressed to find any rapper whose popularity has grown as rapidly as Mac Miller’s. Thanks to a storm of mixtapes from the age of 15 to now, Mac now secures one of the most loyal fanbases in recent history, comprised of a slew of teenage high school to college age kids willing to listen to almost anything the Pittsburgh-native drops. Mac’s playful nature and slew of mixtapes have left high levels of anticipation for the young rapper’s first full length LP. Blue Slide Park, which was named after a local Pittsburgh park, has sold nearly 200,000 copies to date.
After listening to the album 3 or 4 times on my GPA scale, the album earned a 3.05 total. While the album has its ups and downs, the production was near perfect, with most tracks tailored to fit Mac’s sometimes somber and subtle tone and laid back delivery. As far as Mac Miller’s actual performance and lyrical content on the album, he fared well with the first half of the album but not as well on the second half. Most of Blue Slide Park’s songs seemed to be hit or miss lyrically. However, as far as lyrical content, (surprisingly) Mac Miller mostly shied away from his habitual recurring lyrics revolving mainly around weed, being a teenager, and partying in favor a more substantial, sometimes even introspective theme (with lyrics like “Thinkin’ bout my people who was murdered in the Holocaust/got me thankful just for life by itself/and there’s way more people here I should be tryna to help/am I wrong for spendin’ money how I do, probably yes” from “PA Nights”). Despite Mac’s lyrical maturity and unique production, the album is shaky and inconsistent at times with tracks like “Up All Night” and “Loitering” (though catchy) feeling out of place on the album. While Blue Slide Park is definitely not a classic, it probably best exemplifies Mac Miller’s room to grow as an artist, but still puts forth a solid first showing and base for the blueprint of his career grow plan.