White rapper from upper Rust Belt conquers world – sound familiar? Pittsburgh's Mac Miller, the Wiz Khalifa labelmate whose debut LP has already topped the album charts, is no Marshall Mathers. But when his themes stick close to Steeltown, he's likable enough. When his rhymes turn celebratory – in the old-school "Party on Fifth Ave." and frat-drunk "Up All Night," say – he can be propulsive, too. He even works in his Jewish heritage and Pennsylvania groundhog Punxsutawney Phil. But more often, his obligatory jet-setter brags about high-dollar shopping sprees and b-words he's f-worded strain for credibility, not fooling anybody.
Listen to "Blue Slide Park":
• Photos: Random Notes