Malcolm James McCormick, better known as Mac Miller, was an amazing artist who changed my life substantially in so many ways that it warrants its own article. Sadly, Mac Miller passed away in September of 2018, but his music lives on forever. With that being said, to celebrate the upcoming ten-year anniversary of the independently-released title Blue Slide Park, I’ve decided to compile a list of my top ten favorite bars, or lyrics, courtesy of Genius, from Miller’s first studio album and explain why I love them so much.
10) Give a f*** ’bout what you sayin’ after platinum-plated plaques – Loitering
Starting off strong with a little bit of braggadocio. Mac was never afraid to let you know that he was in his bag, which he earned the right to do. Considering this album ended up debuting at number one on the Billboard 200 after his previously released mixtape, K.I.D.S, had peaked at 62 on the Billboard 200 – he most definitely earned his bragging rights. He simply doesn’t care about what anyone who lacks a platinum plaque has to say about his rapping abilities.
9) And you don’t ever figure out what you don’t wonder first – One Last Thing
Mac was always outspoken about the importance of dreaming and having aspirations. This line was just the beginning of his lyrics reflecting on how passionately he felt about ambition and idealism. This is one of my favorite lines because it was just one of those instances of ‘I never even thought of it that way, but it’s so true.’ Mac was always dropping gems like this one and it’s always nice to listen back knowing how he continued to express this passion in beautiful ways throughout his career.
8) My Louis belt way nicer than Orion’s – Loitering
That’s hilarious. For those unaware of who “Orion” is, it’s actually not a person at all. Mac’s wordplay actually referenced Orion’s Belt, which is an asterism that is within a constellation. Mac’s love and appreciation for brand names like Louis Vuitton dwindled as he aged in both the literal and metaphorical sense (see: Brand Name by Mac Miller), but this line is clever nonetheless.
7) They thought the money should’ve changed it // Slide’s still blue, why the world keep tryin’ to paint it? – English Lane
I absolutely love how he used Blue Slide Park to represent his refusal to change who he was in order to adhere to what everyone else wanted him to be. Mac used this park from his hometown that was a huge part of his upbringing as a metaphor for his rap career and he did it beautifully. He could’ve been referencing the people who counted him out as a rapper – mostly because he was a random white dude from Pittsburgh – but he was always determined to prove people wrong. Those people who hated on him and counted him out were trying to ‘paint his blue slide’ and bully him into changing, but Mac stood his ground and kept doing what he loved.
6) Money gon’ be green, I guarantee you that my slide stay blue – Frick Park Market
This line is almost identical to the previous one, but he was truly just making sure everybody knew that no amount of money could’ve made him become something he wasn’t. His slide staying blue was his way of saying ‘I am who I am, I’m gonna do what I wanna do, and you’re either gonna love it or hate it.’ His loyalty to Pittsburgh was incessant and his lyrics always reflected that.
5) What I’m on is strong, yours weaker than seven days – Smile Back
This is a textbook definition of great wordplay. The first half could be literal and be referencing the strength of the drugs he was on. Mac Miller was a heavy drug user, but at the time he said this line, it wasn’t at its worst. Regardless, Mac had said in multiple interviews that he dealt in high school and he’d been smoking for years. In a more symbolic sense, Mac could have been saying that he was on an entirely different level than people who wished for his downfall. Regardless of which explanation is accurate, ‘yours weaker than seven days’ is simply a lyric that’s extremely slept on, and I had to bring attention to it.
4) Work four bars that are tighter than your cornrows – Of The Soul
I LOVE THIS. Again, Mac Miller was always an amazing lyricist and his wordplay was subtle yet effective. He references his bars being tight, which I’m assuming everyone knows is slang for dope or cool, and compares it to how tight someone’s braids are. Come on, bro, that’s so funny.
3) This is who I am, wrote these lyrics on my DNA code – PA Nights
This was Mac’s way of saying that music wasn’t just a hobby for him. He said it in a very creative way and again, I can only give him props for his wordplay. As his career advanced, we were all able to see his musical prowess blossom as he experimented with other genres and styles – this line was ahead of its time.
2) Young and actin’ out, the topics that I rap about // Be varyin’ from politics to b****** pullin’ asses out – Blue Slide Park
This very line is the reason why Mac Miller is so important to me. He never put himself in a box when he was making music. He was never just a rapper, either. He was also a singer, a producer, and a songwriter who could shine in more than one genre without sounding out of place. He could do so many things, so it only makes sense that he could talk about anything under the sun in his music.
1) ‘Cause you could have the world in the palm of your hand // But it don’t mean a thing till you change it – Under the Weather
Finally, we reach my favorite line on the whole album that’s coincidentally on my favorite song. Mac knew that ‘having the world in the palm of your hand’ didn’t mean anything unless you were able to do something to impact that world.
I’m not sure if Mac knew the extent of the impact he would go on to have on millions of people’s lives, but this lyric being on his first album is so very telling of the type of person he was. Mac was never going to carelessly curate and create his music (or likely, anything else he did in his life), and that immense effort he put into making his music paid off. He changed lives through his art and I can say that for a fact because I am one of the people he affected. He changed the way I look at some things in the world and he played an integral part in improving upon the way I experience and enjoy music. His personality alone was enough to impact the world, which many of his friends have said over the years, but when you add music into the mix, his impact is undeniably monumental.
Blue Slide Park turned 10 on November 8th, 2021. Celebrate Mac Miller’s legacy by streaming it everywhere.