Food & Drink

Weekend's best bet: Mac Miller at Patriot Center

Watch the video for "Loud" above. His raps have curse words and drug references in them. Kids, be careful!

I've been duped by Mac Miller before.


When he released "K.I.D.S.," the mixtape that first caught most rap blogs' attention, in August 2010, there was a sleazy charm to Mac's persona. He was the young slacker making no-cred-necessary rap songs about raging, sneakers and hooking up. It was superficial, but catchy and executed well-enough to find its way to the masses of high schoolers and college kids most interested in their Friday nights. Simply put, it's the type of rap that doesn't require much thought at all.

Which isn't always a bad thing. He and Wiz Khalifa, both from Pittsburgh, have the uncanny ability to attract listeners with their in-the-clouds choruses and simple, easy-to-memorize rhymes. It has paid off: When Mac released his first album fans could purchase in stores, "Blue Slide Park," last November, it debuted at No. 1. It was the first independently released album to do so since Tha Dogg Pound's "Dogg Food" in 1995.


The talent didn't keep up with the success. After "K.I.D.S." came the forgettable "Best Day Ever" and the coaster "Blue Slide Park." He was cashing in with big, dumb choruses ("Donald Trump," his biggest hit to date, is a great example) but failed to say anything new, or at the very least, improve his flows.

Then came "Loud," a new banger that owes everything to its beat and little else. It only required Mac, who plays the Patriot Center on Saturday, to show up, brag a bit and stay out of its way. The non-chalant chorus even shows restraint, with Mac smartly keeping a subdued delivery that matches the verses. He's telling the DJ to turn the music up without raising his voice, as if he understands it's the drums place to dominate.

Earlier this month, Mac dropped "Macadelic," a free album/mixtape featuring Lil Wayne, Cam'ron and others. It's his drug album, with vocal clips ranging from "Requiem for a Dream" to John Lennon at his hippiest. The songs namecheck harder drugs than pot, free love and other broad ideas of "peace" and doing whatever you want. Predictably, it gets pretty boring, especially when you're sober.

Still, there will always be "Loud," the song that confidently announces Mac's love of syrup, hatred of your magazine and the fact that he "just sold out that Fillmore." It's worth repeating: this is low-stakes stuff, fitting comfortably in Mac's limited wheelhouse. But it's difficult to deny "Loud's" infectious qualities. Trust me, I've tried.

Mac Miller performs Saturday at Patriot Center, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax, Va. Tickets are available here.