Macklemore Critiques Rap While Rapping

In Music on January 14, 2013 at 6:33 pm

Macklemore’s album, The Heist, is one of the best albums I have listened to in a long time on repeat. I would compare this album to Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange and God I know that Macklemore got a lot of recognition for this album and I hope he makes something of this album because it is worth listening to. So much in fact, that I actually bought the album, who buys albums these days. I Youtubed and Spotified the entire album and researched who Macklemore really was. After doing so, I decided to support in the best way, by buying his art.

Macklemore is a rapper out of Seattle whose song Thrift Shop has been all over the airwaves. This song is good but definitely not the best song off the album. Macklemore teamed up with Ryan Lewis to produce their own album, after turning down an offer from Jimmy Iovine at Interscope records, an act he discusses in Jimmy Lovine. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis distributed their album through their website,, and Itunes making their album No. 2 on the Billboard charts and No. 1 in the Itunes store. This feat would not have been accomplished a few years ago and thanks to technology artists such as Macklemore can distribute their music, have more control over their music, and make more money off of their music, then if they worked with a large music conglomerate. Macklemore worked hard to get where he currently is and it completely paid off, making The Heist a solid collection of songs.

My top two favorite songs off of Macklemore’s album are Wing$ and Same Love and honestly it is tough to choose between the two. I love the meaning behind each song, the fascination with consumerism and gay marriage, respectively. They are also very powerful songs. In Same Love, Macklemore dissects the use of the word “faggot” within the rap industry and explains how hate such as this led to the Civil Rights Movement in the 60s, a movement that was led predominately by African-Americans who also are quite predominant in the rap industry. In Wing$, Macklemore explains his youthful fascination with Nike Air Jordan and discusses the problems associated with this fascination, the consumer becomes consumed by the shoe so much in fact that they no longer wear them. Macklemore continues explaining how he became these shoes, when he was young, and how currently he seems them as no more than just a pair of shoes. The tie breaker between these two songs, are the music videos. While Wing$ is a very powerful video, Same Love is more-so, showing the struggles homosexual individuals face while in elementary school and coming out to their family members. The ending also contains a twist which I did not see coming and made this song that much more powerful. I have been listening to this songs non-stop for the past few weeks and both of them are powerful.

Starting Over describes Macklemore’s struggles with addiction and his relapse. This song is incredibly sad, ending on a hopeful note, while also being very informative. Individuals who are not addicts themselves, can try to understand how hard it is to stay sober, but they will never be able to completely understand how difficult it is. Macklemore offers a glimpse behind the curtain at addiction, allowing the listener to understand what he has gone through and what every struggling ex-addict is going through.

A Wake is another song worth noting because of its description of generational problems. From teen pregnancy to racial differences to police brutality, all of this is described within A Wake. Macklemore also appears to urge the listeners to wake up, see what is occurring, and do something about it.

10,000 hours discusses the persistence to practice, utilizing Malcolm Gladwell’s idea that people are excellent at things because they practice, at least 10,000 hours. Within this song, Macklmore discusses how he became who he is and how hard he worked to obtain that. He appears to even be talking to those struggling rappers out there, telling them to practice more. Try harder and you shall succeed.

In Make the Money, Macklemore discusses the trouble with money that every rapper comes across. Once an individual becomes famous, they will often lose their base fan group who liked them when they were local and indie. Macklemore tells his fans that he doesn’t plan on changing once the money starts rolling in, rather he plans on utilizing the money he makes to change the game. Macklemore reassures his fans with this song while also criticizing other rappers who had a change of heart when they suddenly began making money.

Thrift Shop deserves a mention because while it is a hilarious song, it has a similar theme to that of Wing$. In Thrift Shop, explains all of the deals he found at a thrift store, while comparing his buys to individuals who are obsessed with labels and expensive clothing. Macklemore makes himself the victor of this comparison by explaining that he looks different because everyone buys that t-shirt or those pair of pants, and by appearing different he stands out.

There are several other songs on this album, but I felt that these were worth mentioning. That is not to say that those songs are bad, the album is excellent, but these songs really affected me. They were beautiful, well written, and extremely powerful. Go and check him out, and then get his album. You won’t be disappointed.


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