Review of The Heist by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (2012, MP3)
By Jake Heraty
2.9 / 4
“Press Play, don’t press Pause.”
There aren’t many white rappers that come to mind. As I am writing this review I can really only think of two others, those being Eminem and Brother Ali. However I know there are many more than the ones that I have listed here but there is something special with Macklemore and his partner in rhyming crime, Ryan Lewis. That special thing is the positive message that goes along with their music. Their full-length debut 2012 album, The Heist, tells the story of struggles, success, fame, being humble and issues with identity amongst all the influences that life seems to throw at you. It’s a very entertaining compilation of songs, some of them conveying deep messages and others that you can easily bump and dance to.
So let’s get the obvious out of the way first: Yes this is the album that has “Thrift Shop” on it. In fact the album I got had the song twice, one in the form of a song and the other was the music video for “Thrift Shop”. Is it a good song? Well I’ll say this: It’s enjoyable, even now after 3 or so years later. It’s an entertaining and funny song but it’s not Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ best on the album, actually far from it.
Moving on, the songs that are fun to play with groups of people at parties and gatherings: “Can’t Hold Us”, “Thrift Shop”, “White Walls”, “Victory Lap” & possibly “Make The Money”. These are songs that are very recognizable even to a causal radio listeners as they were played on most hip/hop stations in 2012 and 2013. However “Victory Lap” and “Make The Money” both have deeper messages that are embedded in the songs.
“Victory Lap” is mainly about success and how one should remember the past. The opening line states the statement that is told to many about not forgetting where they come from but Macklemore shoots that idea down with the line “F***k that, humility bust back…” as if he is disregarding the need for him to think about the past. He then uses the rest of the song as a way of celebrating his success from hard work and looking to the future and it’s a different way of looking at things and provides a message that with hard work and motivation dreams come true and it’s not your environment that is going to give you want you want but rather you have to strive for it yourself.
“Make The Money” is a warning of greed. The chorus says it all, “Make the money, don’t let the money make you…” It’s a song that reminds that money doesn’t create an identity, you do.
Then there are the songs that attacks the bigger issues and conveys a deeper message to the listeners. The songs being “Same Love”, “Neon Cathedral”, “Wing$” and “My Oh My”.
“Same Love” may be the most notable on this list as it is an anthem to the gay community and is about equality, bullying, tolerance, identity and love. It’s a beautiful song with an equally beautiful meaning.
“Neon Cathedral” is one the more haunting songs. It’s slow and paints a dark picture of alcoholism, addiction, dependence and the need for more in life. It’s also about the interpersonal battle of faith, religion and where you stand in the eyes of God. It ultimately becomes a song about the self-described identity that we give ourselves after analyzing the state of who we are in our lives and what we have done. In this Macklemore is tackling with the identity of being a sinner and being an alcoholic but wanting not to depend on the bottle but rather have a strong bond with God. A darkly poetic look into the life of a struggling alcoholic believer. Haunting and beautiful at the same time.
The issues of identity and social implications of consumerism influences on young children is explored in “Wing$”. The adult Macklemore reflects on purchasing his first pair of Nike sneakers as a kid and the issue of trying to be an individual in a world that is telling him that in order to be an individual and cool you have to purchase things that everyone is wearing. The irony becomes apparent throughout the song and the deep message is embedded in a song that boast a sick beat, great and fast rapping and a children’s choir that gave me chills the first time listening to the song.
“My Oh My” gives us an insight into the childhood of Macklemore, his hometown, the sport and team that he loves and the childhood hero that he looked up to. A rhyming love letter to the childhood that he misses drips with nostalgia and the images of an incredible win for his hometown team, the Seattle Mariners. A great song that also has a great music video.
So all in all, The Heist is a rap album that has deep positive messages and great singles that are fun and recognizable. It’s a good album that boasts the Grammy award for Best Rap Album and the Best New Artist award for Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. If you are a hip/hop or rap fan and looking for a rapper who raps with positive messages, look no further.
If you would like to purchase this album here are the following links to the MP3 version of the album:
Amazon Digital S tore:http://www.amazon.com/Heist-Explicit-Macklemore-Ryan-Lewis/dp/B009G78EE2/ref=tmm_msc_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=
Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/music/album/Macklemore_Ryan_Lewis_The_Heist_Deluxe_Edition?id=Bgsbvvgvnizrwcnfkvrotfblaui
Apple’s iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-heist-deluxe-edition/id560097651
Hope you enjoyed this review of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ wonderful album, The Heist. Thanks for reading.
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