I'll admit, I'm a new fan, but I'm completely hooked.
Last week, two different friends shared the hooky "Thrift Shop" and heartfelt "Same Love" and either one alone might not have been enough for me to look into the rest of their tracks, but combined, I was intrigued enough to figure out what this guy was about. From there, the counter-culture-of-consumption messages in "Wing$" and hometown pride in "My Oh My" hit me and I was a confirmed fan. "Can't Hold Us" is addictive. I want to play "Starting Over" for everyone I know who's ever stumbled.
I was excited not just to listen to the album all the way through, but to pay money for it and hope Macklemore and Ryan Lewis get to keep making a living doing what they love for a long, long time.
Too much rap today is repetitive, narcissistic, inane, untruthful. Where is the edge? Where is the story telling? Where is the truth? (Even in the 2pac era, rapping about money was really about the *desire* for power and money at a time when such things were inaccessible to black youth, and seemed to be intended as a stark contrast to the crack epidemic that was decimating inner city neighborhoods. The 'money' story line is now 20 years old, and has morphed to become less relevant, less truthful, more vain, more narcissistic, and boringly ubiquitous.). Maybe I had just outgrown rap....
Enter the Heist. I was sent a link to the NPR "Tiny Desk" concert performed by Macklemore and was blown away. Here was Macklemore challenging the homophobic culture of hip hop, while examining his own assumptions about what it meant to be gay. In the next song challenging the narrative about money by professing his love for "your Grandpa's clothes" that he could pick up...
Wow. WOW! I've been a fan of Macklemore since I first heard and saw him perform here in Eugene. I didn't know who he was when I met him at his merch table (he opened for Blue Scholars) but if I could go back to that night I'd at least give him a handshake and preferably a hug. His words, combined with the spectacular musical abilities of Ryan Lewis, are genius, and I don't use that word lightly. This might be one of those Joshua Tree albums of hip-hop.
WATCH THE VIDEO FOR "SAME LOVE"! I cry every time I see it or hear the song and I know for a fact I'm not alone. The end of the video will really get you. The video for "Wing$" re-defines music videos as an art form and is so good you'd think Scorsese made it. The message of anti-materialism is especially important when you consider that a large part of Macklemore's demographic is teenagers.
One of the amazing things about Macklemore and Ryan Lewis is how they can be so humorous and lighthearted in one...
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