What comes to mind when you think of the word kids? Images of children 3-9 years of age may run through your head, but in the last couple of months this term has become more than its simple definition. In the past year, the noun ‘kids’ turned into an acronym that originated on the mixtape (a collection of songs recorded in a specific order) that officially put Mac Miller, new hip-hop sensation, into the spotlight. K.I.D.S., or “Kicking Incredibly Dope S**t,” was the first CD Mac Miller, 19, released through Rostrum Records. Combine simple yet pleasant-on-the-ear beats and personal, feel-good lyrics and you have the basis of the album that’s been growing more and more popular since it first debuted in August of 2010.
Although many people criticize Miller for rapping solely about drugs, the new rapper’s music extends way beyond smoking. K.I.D.S. is a mixtape made by a kid for kids.
Each one of the sixteen tracks encompasses the power that the younger generation beholds, yet also defines what it means to be a child and what it means to be free. The lyrics, although powerful, simply encapsulate the life of an everyday teenager and Miller’s rise to the top from scratch. The overall message is basically to embrace childhood: all the mistakes, memories, and lessons, as well as to “keep your thumb in the air” because everything is going to be alright.
The first song on the mixtape, “K.I.D.S.,” is the perfect introduction to the CD. It introduces Mac Miller and gives you a sneak peek into his life, from his teenage years to his new fame. It’s one of the more quiet songs on the record, with beats in the background that don’t take anything away from the lyrical composition, but instead highlight them and give Miller’s words more emotion. This song in particular stands out to me because of the little snippets of dialogue in the beginning and end that perfectly convey the overall theme of the mixtape.
“K.I.D.S.” can be compared to other songs on the mixtape, such as “Kool-Aid and Frozen Pizza,” (one of Mac Miller’s most popular tracks) “All I Want is You,” and “Poppy.” These are the more relaxed songs on the track, with easy-going music and subtly serious lyrics. When you pop your headphones in your ears and press “play,” you’ll want to sit down for a while and simply think, while a smile plays at the corner of your lips. On the other hand, “Nikes on My Feet,” “Senior Skip Day,” and “Knock Knock,” make up another half of the mixtape with up-beat music that makes you want to get on your feet and dance. The songs are all about kicking back and doing what you like t do with no worries or cares, simply because you’re young.
So where does Mac Miller get the inspiration for his music? From Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Mac Miller found influences not only from the already famous artists out there, but also from his home town. In an interview with Good Fella Media, he states, “Pittsburgh has spitters man… everyone’s waiting to shine…” These aspiring rappers and influences include Boaz and the 58’s. Other great rappers that have influenced Miller’s music are some names you might hear regularly today, such as Wiz Khalifa, another Pittsburgh rapper. In addition, Mac Miller adopted the beats and chorus of “Fireflies” by Owl City, a quadruple-platinum hit single from 2010.
Overall, Mac Miller has hit the music industry with potential and has proven to be an incredibly talented rapper, taking the hip-hop fan-base with a storm. He has been an inspiration for many teenagers, including myself, and continues to make the laid-back music we fell in love with with the release of K.I.D.S. Gaining the title of ‘the new Eminem,’ Mac Miller could rightfully be called a role model for his fans, showing them the perks in being the youth of our nation.
So put a thumb in the air and your headphones in your ears and join the rest of the kids Kicking Incredibly Dope S**t.
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