Coming into his own: Mac Miller’s new album epitomizes his style and sound


Artist: Mac Miller

Album: GO:OD A.M.

Grade: B+

When you’re talking about successful white rappers, there aren’t many names – Eminem, Action Bronson, G-Eazy are a few.

But you can’t forget Mac Miller, the 23-year-old rapper from Pittsburgh who started his career at age 15.

On Sept. 18, Miller dropped his latest album GO:OD A.M.

Miller has seen immense success for such a young artist. His career skyrocketed when he released his LP, Blue Slide Park in 2011and it hit the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s Top 100 list.

He’s truly risen from the bottom – his first few mixtapes aren’t bad, but a 15-16-year-old wrote those lyrics and rhymes.

He signed a record deal at 18 and went on tour, selling out shows across the country. Then he put out Watching Movies With the Sound Off, an experimental album demonstrating a new sound the rapper was working through.

His newest album GO:OD AM is all-encompassing – it has the anthems, like “100 Grandkids,” the emotional depth in “Cut the Check” and encouraging words in “Clubhouse.”

His swaggy confidence doesn’t go unfounded or unnoticed – he makes it clear he knows what he’s doing and that he’s good at it.

“In The Bag” demonstrates this confidence, as Miller spits about being a white rapper but knowing he still has game. His chorus is catchy and laid back, oozing a certain kind of cool only Miller has in his looks, words and lifestyle.

“Weekend” featuring Miguel is a peaceful ode to everyone’s favorite part of the weekend. Miller emphasizes that stressing during the week is natural, but by the weekend, everything will be OK. Miguel’s voice in the chorus exemplifies this vibe, a soft crooning to compliment the ideas behind the words in Miller’s raps.

Miguel isn’t the only special feature on the album – listeners will also hear Chief Keef, Lil B and Little Dragon. Miller isn’t afraid to collaborate to improve his sound, as he’s worked with Tyler, The Creator and Thundercat among others to produce the beats for the album.

So where’s the attention? Why aren’t people going crazy over the new album?

It’s all in his timing.

Though Miller’s album is arguably one of the best things he’s ever put out because it contains such variety in content yet addictive lyrics, he was majorly overshadowed by the Drake/Future collaboration What a Time to Be Alive.

It happens in the music industry where more than one artist will drop an album around the same time and one reaches the top while the other is overlooked.

But for Miller, the proverbial underdog, this lack of glory isn’t a big deal. He takes it as coincidence, rather than getting stressed over it.

This attitude is reflected in his relaxed method of rapping. The words fall into place almost by accident, with clever lines slipped between casual phrasing. His laid-back attitude seems contradictory to his success at such a young age, but he’s got everything in perspective.

Most of his songs reference his hometown or his upbringing – a sign that he is conscious of where he came from and what it took for him to get to the top.

Despite setbacks with sales, Miller’s new album is definitely worth the listen. He takes his old hype and transforms it into a new, mature confidence that serves his music well.

Tori Roseman is the senior features editor and can be reached at tori.roseman@ubspectrum.com