Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, in a Few Words

Posted: May 9, 2013 in Hip-Hop, Rap
Tags: , , , , ,

Macklemore and partner-in-crime producer Ryan Lewis have an infectious sound that has taken the music world by storm. Their first studio album The Heist was independently released in October 2012, and their first single “Thrift Shop” is as clever as it is catchy. Most of you may think they’re just wanna-be-white-rappers, but if you really listen to their tracks, you’ll see they’re a whole lot more than that.

1. They keep it real

Steering away from the usual poppin’ bottles and promiscuity that has taken over as the reigning theme for current hip-hop music, Macklemore comments on actual issues. From homosexuality on “Same Love,” (damn right he supports it); to his substance abuse problem on “Starting Over,” to racism and the media-obsessed generation on “A Wake.” He’s not afraid to address serious matters and take a stance, even if according to typical hip-hop culture, it’s an unpopular one.

2. They keep it personal

Macklemore delves into his childhood memories to write a dedication to the late Dave Niehaus, a sports commentator for MLB’s Seattle Mariners, on “My Oh My.” It even features clips of Niehaus’ actual broadcasts. He also discloses what Nike pumps symbolized when he was a kid versus as an adult, on “Wing$.” This track is also a genius commentary on consumerism in America: “They told me to just do it/I listened to what the swoosh said.” Anytime an artist alludes to something significant in their lives, it gives the listener an insight to who they are as people and makes them more approachable.

3. They keep it honest

If “Thrift Shop” is any indication, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis are the anti-hip-hop of hip-hop. They don’t understand overpriced fancy clothing, and regularly express their thoughts on the music industry. Macklemore divulges what major labels really want from artists when they sign with them, “Jimmy Iovine” (ie head of Interscope Records.) He also reveals that his music is his passion and refuses to let fortune and fame distract him from staying true to himself, on “Make the Money.” After all, “Change the game/Don’t let the game change you.”

These perfectly articulated tracks are laced with Lewis’ producing genius, which makes this album above and beyond, especially in the hip-hop genre. It has flecks of Eminem and hints of Childish Gambino dissolved in an aqueous solution of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. The product is explosive, so proceed with caution.

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