Album Review: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Bring “The Heist”

Posted on: October 17th, 2012 at 11:39 am by
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Full disclosure: I have no idea how to write about hip-hop. What I do know is what I love, and I love Macklemore’s The Heist.  It’s blunt. Authentic. Smart. Matter of Fact. It’s an anthem chock-full of raw, underdog emotion.  It’s hilarious. It’s vivid.  And it’s impossible to sit still while listening.

Macklemore has incredible cadence – he can simultaneously make you laugh and fully believe in what he is saying.  There isn’t anger in his lyrics – it’s passion delivered with the attitude of a coach trying to rally the troops.  It’s a study in keeping it real while being badass. He raps with the passion of Eminem, and the speed and choppiness of Mike Shinoda and Busta Rhymes.  It’s not the booty poppin’ stuff you might hear remixed at the club – it’s much more versatile.

Vices (alcohol, drugs, deceit) run rampant, but are not fantastical, making the album more relatable than one would imagine.  Each track seems to have a theme.  “Wing$” intensely reminds us that while kicks can instill dreams, consumerism kills, lest we fall prey to it. It’s something straight out of a Bret Easton Ellis book.  Notable name checks include Basquiat, Keith Haring, Betty White, Bob Barker (and the beloved game Plinko). Macklemore cleverly references Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers in his track of perseverance “Ten Thousand Hours.” But the album’s sticking point is that individualism should and will always prevail.  Who can’t get behind that?

It’s really hard to convey why this album is great.  Give it a listen and you’ll see why.  Album of the year contender? Most likely.  We’ve stolen his lyric before and we’ll steal it again: this is fuc-king awesome.

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