Macklemore and Ryan Lewis - The Heist

2013-04-30 08:55
What we thought:

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis have shown that you don’t need the backing of a major record label to make it big.

The American rappers second album, The Heist, reached number one on iTunes within hours of being released without the help of promotions.

His music video "Thrift Shop" has been viewed on YouTube more than 250 million times, and reached number 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart, selling more than 2.2 million copies.

And "Thrift Shop" isn’t even the best track on the album!

The Seattle-born rapper has joined forces with producer Ryan Lewis to bring his fans 15 incredibly powerful, well put together beats.

It is so refreshing to see a rapper give his producer the credit he deserves and i think it's great that Macklemore has realised how important Lewis was to his music and his success.

The duo has not only put together an album that is musically superior, but thought-provoking and intelligent, with each beat tailored to the narrative it is supporting.

Reviewer Adam Fleisher had this to say: “It’s these sort of astute observations on the human condition and keen self-awareness that set this effort apart. That reality, coupled with Ryan Lewis’ vast, daring and layered production, makes The Heist a truly beautiful album that challenges musical boundaries.”

Best track:

"Same Love" is definitely my favourite track on the album. The track has proven to be the second most popular after the obvious favourite, Thrift Shop, and deals with the controversial topic of gay marriage.

The track was recorded during the campaign to legalise same-sex marriages in the state of Washington and Macklemore’s lyrics are powerful while the song still manages to remain likeable and laid back.

The rapper explained that the song also came out of his own frustration with hip hop's positions on homosexuality.

“Misogyny and homophobia are the two acceptable means of oppression in hip-hop culture. It's 2012. There needs to be some accountability. I think that as a society we're evolving and I think that hip hop has always been a representation of what's going on in the world right now,” he told Kurt Anderson of Studio360.

Macklemore delivers a track with substance and heart and proves that sometimes rap can be so much more than expensive cars and half-naked women.

Worst track:

Despite having a great hook, "Whitewalls' is my least favourite track on the album.

After being so impressed with the intelligent social commentary that fills up so much of the album, Macklemore seems to take a giant step backward with the song "Whitewalls".

"Make the money" separates the rapper from the unnecessary materialism that corrodes the rap industry and "Neon Cathedral" offers an emotional and tragic look at the effects of alcohol and substance abuse.

So why then - on the very same album - does he sing about cherishing a candy-painted Cadillac? The song also features SchoolboyQ, known as one of the most drug-influenced artists in the industry.

It just really doesn’t fit in with the message on the rest of the album.

Sounds like:

Skinny Friedman wrote an article for a blog, Noisy, called "Why I don’t like Macklemore" where he explained that the rapper’s music "feels like rap for people that don't actually like rap." Whether it is or isn’t, if you like the rapper then you should also look out for blue scholars, Atmosphere, g-easy, Dumbfoundead and Watsky.

Watch the making of "Thrift Shop" here:

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