Every kid will tell you that these are the toughest of times. Life sucks. The sun ceases to exist. Homework seems to never end. Fun isn’t apart of your vocabulary. Teachers hate you. And pretty much, the only thing you have to look forward to in your day is the ride to-and-from school. It’s the time where “your music” is the only thing that keeps you sane, and the only time when life is just “chillen.”
As a cornerstone of our childhood, we all have “our album,” “our artist,” “our dude,” or as most youngsters like myself seem to have, “our mixtape.”
Growing up, I listened to my Dad talk about how he used to kick back to Billy Joel when he was a “nobody,” and the only people who had ever heard of him were kids from Long Island. He used to tell me stories of how he went to his concerts in small college gymnasiums and rock out for hours.
Plain and simple, I wanted that. My time as a kid, I hadn’t found an artist or musician that I could relate to quite like the way my Dad used to talk about Billy Joel. I wanted more than anything else to have an artist who I could call, “my dude.”
I had been searching for “my dude” like Morpheus had been searching for Neo in The Matrix; all my life I had been seeking to find “the one.”
It was the summer of 2010, and I was in the Holy Land (Israel) with the Jewish summer camp I attended for many years, seeking salvation to find “my dude.”
While on my journey to find “the one,” I learned about a peculiar rapper who happened to attend the same summer camp as I did.
I had heard about this rapper all summer. People had been preaching that this kid was on the pedestal to do big things, following in the footsteps of fellow Pittsburgh rapper, Wiz Khalifa.
Over the summer, it’s safe to say I became a tad bit obsessed with this rapper. When I came back to the 614 after a great summer at Jew Camp, I was on my grind spreading the word about this dude no one had ever heard of before, Mac Miller.
The day was August 13, 2010. It was the day Mac dropped his fourth mixtape, called K.I.D.S (Kickin’ Incredibly Dope Sh*T). I didn’t know it yet, but finally, I had found “my mixtape.” “The one.”
At first, I didn’t love K.I.D.S. It had a completely different vibe than Mac’s previous mixtapes. It was weird. It was unusual. But it was something I actually felt like I could connect with in some weird way.
I popped the mixtape into my car, figuring that like all my music, I could only really decide if it’s my thing if I listen to it while I’m taking a drive.
I was strolling through the streets of the NA, when I heard a particular line that forever changed my life and my music.
“Taking sips from the fountain of youth. If you ain’t heard about the kid than you outta the loop,” Mac proudly rhymes in the song, Good Evening.
After I heard that rhyme, that was it; I was hooked. I realized, I had found her: “the one.”
What I began to love about K.I.D.S. was Mac’s ability to keep it real, his mad flow, and rhymes that I could appreciate and understand. So much of the rap I listen to is beyond my comprehension; that’s what you get when you are extremely obsessed with the hip-hop kings. With Mac, I not only appreciated what he was saying, but I understood what he was saying too. It was so dope.
Mac’s genuineness in K.I.D.S is evident through his always entertaining music videos and his easy-to-the-eye love for “the game.”
Here is the music video for the song Senior Skip Day (one of my personal favorites):
But in all honesty, my true love towards K.I.D.S grew during those seven-minute car rides to-and-from school, where my brothers and I would argue over whether to play Outside or Kool-Aid and Frozen Pizza. Instead of doing some last-minute studying for a test that day, or closing my eyes to grab a couple extra minutes of sleep, I was bumping to K.I.D.S like it was nobody’s business (we got our fair share of weird looks).
It seems odd and unusual to think that my love for K.I.D.S. grew inside my mom’s old SUV. But yet, I couldn’t picture a better way to have spent my time with K.I.D.S, and have grown to love the mixtape like they way I did.
Three years have passed since K.I.D.S dropped, and it seems like almost everything has changed since the “good ‘ole days.” After releasing the mixtape, Best Day Ever in March 2011, Mac’s fame and Twitter following grew at an amazing rate. It wasn’t long before Mac dropped his debut album, Blue Slide Park in fall 2011, and became the first independent artist in 16 years to reach the U.S. Billboard Top 200.
Following his commercial success with Blue Slide Park, Mac released the mixtape, Macadelic. After a year compiled of fame, fortune, and sold out concerts filled with thousands of new fans, Macadelic was a complete change in the lyrical and musical style that Mac had built his career around. Mac’s musical maturation and change was on full display with his latest album, Watching Movies With the Sound Off.
I’ll be honest; the Mac I once loved and cherished is not the same Mac Miller we see today. That’s not to say I still don’t love to listen to his music, it just doesn’t have the same meaning in my life as it once did.
It’s 2013 now, and a lot has changed for Mac and I. But the mixtape that unified us some time ago is the knot that will forever keep us connected. No matter how far Mac and I will grow apart in the years to come, I will always love K.I.D.S like no other piece of music, and Mac Miller will always be “my dude.”
In my short time on this planet, I’ve learned that it’s critical to cherish the things you consider meaningful to your life. Although most people see K.I.D.S as just another piece of music on Datpiff.com, K.I.D.S will always be a staple point of my youth and apart of my genetic make-up.
I’ll never be able to breakaway from K.I.D.S, and I’ll always be apart of the “Most Dope Family.”
Thank you Mac for bringing piece of mind to my teenage youth, and giving me perspective to the amazing world of music.
My only wish is that you find the same piece of mind with your music as I did with K.I.D.S.