The success of Mac Miller’s “K.I.D.S.” had the blogosphere buzzing about the new fresh kid from Pittsburgh, PA. Miller’s much anticipated follow up “Best Day Ever” dropped on March 11th for free and picks up where his last mixtape “K.I.D.S.” left off, reminding everyone to chill out, roll up some herb, and enjoy life. Mac’s latest release will solidify his place among the hottest names in hip-hop, but “Best Day Ever” struggles to maintain momentum and ultimately leaves fans wishing for more lyrical and artistic growth.
After appearing on the annual cover of XXL’s Freshman Class issue in February, Mac Miller bolstered his reputation as a serious upcoming star with mainstream appeal. With a slick flow full of whit and a message of endless optimism, the 19-year-old Pittsburgh native built a dedicated online following and recently toured throughout the nation riding the widespread attention following the memorable “K.I.D.S” mixtape, influenced by the 1995 film directed by Larry Clark.
Mac Miller’s fourth mixtape in three years, “Best Day Ever” revolves around the concept of a perfect day full of everyone’s favorite things: fun, weed, and girls. The newest Pittsburgh product to sign with Rostrum Records, Mac Miller is still his carefree self, but now rhymes with an overbearing sense of accomplishment.
“Best Day Ever” opens with a statement of arrival over a minimal instrumental reminiscent of a lullaby. Beautiful broads and the best weed any Cali-doctor can prescribe, give the rapper a reason to call out every slacker kid who doesn’t match his hustle. Mac Miller is a rising star in the hip-hop world, and the leader of the Most Dope crew lets everyone know with the first half of the mixtape, including the floor stomping single “Donald Trump.” Rex Arrow, the man behind previous Mac Miller viral hits, once again works with the Pittsburgh kid to direct the video for his party anthem:
The first of three tracks produced by Chicago native Chuck English is one of the highlights on the mixtape. On “Wear My Hat,” Mac raps about groupie hoes messing with his snapback over a funky feel-good banger that provides the ideal background for Miller’s thoughts. Mac spits a guide to pimpin’ over a groovy bass line, but as many other tracks on “Best Day Ever,” the idea of the song is underdeveloped and lacking maturity.
The purpose of Mac Miller’s music is to inspire the kid in all of us, but the continuous theme of innocence becomes repetitive and stale. His youthful style has helped Miller establish a diverse fanbase, but his edgier side rarely shines with his latest release, and he needs to show signs of progression to keep his audience’s attention.
The second half of “Best Day Ever” picks up with the thumping drums and piping horns of “She Said” (Props to the Doug cartoon reference). The release ends on a high note with “Keep Floatin’,” a laidback stoner jam with Wiz Khalifa on the hook singing about what he knows best, rollin’ up doobies and pourin’ good drank. With a smooth hook sung by the joint king, Wiz’s only appearance on the mixtape, the last song displays Mac Miller as the next stoner star and wraps up the project quite nicely.
On “Best Day Ever,” the good-natured Mac Miller is enjoying the moment of realizing his dream. His selection of beats from a wide variety of genres that most rappers would refuse to even touch, reflects his diverse musical pallet. But the Pittsburgh emcee looses the audience’s attention by the end of the mixtape. Not a single guest verse appears on the release, which attests to Mac Miller’s ability, but limits the imagination of the 16-track project. Several standout tracks make “Best Day Ever” deserving of a listen, yet this mixtape wont get consistent play in my headphones. Mac Miller is still one of the coolest kids around, but we’re eager to see him grow up.
Standouts: “Wear My Hat,” “She Said,” “Keep Floatin'”