Mac Miller, the rapper on the rise from Pittsburgh, brings his Blue Slide Park Tour to Rams Head Live tonight. If you're unfamiliar with Mac, here's what you need to know: He doesn't take himself too seriously ("goofy" might be an apt description), he's built a strong following among college kids (the kind that like to smoke weed and party ... so, all of them), he's released a handful of mixtapes ("K.I.D.S.," loosely based on the '90s film, is the strongest) and his hype is peaking at the right time (his first full-length album, also titled "Blue Slide Park" drops Nov. 8).
As a rapper, Mac is middle-of-the-road. When he gets compared to Eminem, it's only because of his skin and it has nothing to do with skill. While Eminem is a virtuoso with cadence, Mac tends to stick with a straight-forward, in-the-pocket flow that will bore some and make it easy for others to learn his rhymes. But he's strong with hooks (a la his Pittsburgh buddy Wiz Khalifa) and writing raps about marijuana and women (Wiz again!). Below is his latest video, "Smile Back." What's typically more interesting than Mac's rhymes (from "Smile Back": "What I'm on is strong / Yours? Weaker than seven days") are his beats, thanks to the Pittsburgh sound being cultivated by E. Dan and his ID Labs team. "Smile Back" is no exception.