30 of the Best Mac Miller Songs
Pittsburgh was uncharted territory for the rap world for years, but Mac Miller played a huge part in helping put the blue collar city on the map. Before his tragic death of an apparent drug overdose at the age of 26, the rapper was one of the most well-liked stars in hip-hop, a true hip-hop artist's artist who showed immense growth over the course of his career.
Prior to the bright lights and No. 1 albums, Mac Miller was a relative unknown striving to make a name for himself outside of his hometown. Aligning himself with Rostrum Records, the rhymer got the look he was aiming for when his track, "Kool Aid and Frozen Pizza," became a hit on rap blogs and YouTube, racking up millions of hits and causing more than a few to take note of the fresh-faced youngster with suburban swag.
Miller hit a home run out of the gate with his 2011 album, Blue Slide Park, which debuted atop the Billboard 200—the first independent album to do so since Dogg Pound's Dogg Food in 1995. Selling 144,000 in its first week of release, Blue Slide Park served as an indication of Mac's ability to move more clicks online than his peers, and the fact he was primed for an extended tenure on the rap scene.
The rapper returned in 2013 with his sophomore album Watching Movies With the Sound Off, which experienced commercial success as well as critical acclaim. The effort was deemed a vast improvement compared to his debut. But his third studio album, GO:OD AM, found him coming into his own as a respected lyricist and one of hip-hop's most favored voices.
In a turn few people saw coming, Miller delved into the alternative scene when he dropped off his experimental album, The Divine Feminine, in the fall of 2016. Filled with bits of Miller's crooning over a jazz and R&B-infused soundscape, the project marked the already accomplished rapper's most critically acclaimed yet. He didn't stop there, though.
Just under two years later, Miller, in what would be the final project he released while still alive, dropped off Swimming, an LP forged in melancholic reflection and the publicity surrounding his split from Ariana Grande. With bits of incisive introspection and rich, spacy instrumentation that afforded the rapper's thoughts some much-needed breathing room, the LP produced some of Miller's best pieces.
XXL highlights 30 undeniable tracks that best define Mac Miller's career.