Review of The Heist by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (2012) A Rap Album With Deep Positive Messages

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Review of The Heist by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (2012, MP3)

By Jake Heraty

2.9 / 4

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“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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Review of The Heist by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (2012) A Rap Album With Deep Positive Messages

Review of 2Pac: Greatest Hits by 2Pac (MP3)

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2Pac: Greatest Hits (MP3)
Review
3.5 / 4 (Age: 18+, Due To Language & Themes)
Can’t say I relate to the “thug life” at all. However 2Pac’s Greatest Hits is a great album if you are new to 2Pac and rap (like me) or if you are a long-time fan, as it has all of his most popular songs like “Dear Mama” “Keep Ya Head Up” “God Bless The Dead” “Temptations” “Hail Mary” & “Me Against The World” to name just a few. I especially like “Dear Mama”, “Keep Ya Head Up” and “Changes” for the positive messages that 2Pac is trying to convey. And you can’t go wrong with “California Love”, just a great classic song. A great album from a great artist and musical poet.

If you are a fan and would like to purchase here are the links:
Apple’s iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/…/a…/2pac-greatest-hits/id310908362
Amazon’s MP3 Store: http://www.amazon.com/2Pac-Greatest…/…/ref=tmm_msc_swatch_0…
Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/…/mu…/album/2Pac_2Pac_Greatest_Hits…

Hope you enjoyed this review.

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Thanks for reading.

Review of 2Pac: Greatest Hits by 2Pac (MP3)

Review for Because of the Internet by Childish Gambino (2013, MP3)

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Because of the Internet (2013, MP3)
Review
3.5 / 4 (Ages: 16 / 17, Due To Language)
There are very few successful actors that can say that they can rap. Donald Glover, under his stage name Childish Gambino, actually can. I have heard about Donald Glover and his rapping abilities for a couple of years now but never took the time to really listen to his music, that is until now…

Gambino’s Because of the Internet can be best summed up as a very enjoyable album. It’s an album, for me, that has only a few songs that I dislike.

The album explores life, death and legacy as well as success and the ultimate ending of success. It’s an album that is an absolute pleasure to listen to and experience. From the brilliant writing, the memorable songs and the unbelievable rapping from not only Gambino but from all of those who were featured on the songs. But let’s go into detail here:

All of the songs have a unique style that includes sampling, like “Telegraph Ave. (‘Oakland’ by Lloyd)”, and featuring other rappers that may or may not be well known, like in “I. The Worst Guys” featured a brilliant rapper, Chance The Rapper, who because of this album, I would download his album “Acid Rap” (review coming soon). Childish Gambino made a fan out of me with this album.
It is an album that enjoyable and has total replay value. There are actually 5 songs that play in succession of each others, those songs are “I. The Worst Guys (Feat. Chance the Rapper)”, “II. Shadows”, “III. Telegraph Ave. (‘Oakland’ by Lloyd)”, “IV. Sweatpants” and “3005”. These songs capture Childish Gambino, his style, brilliant rapping and captured my attention almost immediately and would become the songs that I go back to almost everyday. I would have purchased the album on the basis of those songs alone but there were also “I. The Party” (which is a short song but a great one, with the sounds of people partying in the background, a great bumping tempo coupled with Gambino’s fast and excellent rapping that includes his thoughts on the party as well his inner monologue) and “II. No Exit” (which is a somewhat creepy and unsettling song that explores Gambino’s inner and deep thoughts) and “II. Earth: The Oldest Computer”.

All of the songs have a deeper meaning than what’s presented and it all tells a wider story of who Gambino is and how his life has played out. There is a Reddit post that explores these meanings in better detail than I can here so here it is: http://www.reddit.com/…/a_close_reading_of_childish_gambin…/

The album is simply amazing. It is worth the money and has absolute replay value. This is the artist that got me into rap music and I am now a fan.

If you would like to purchase this album here are the following links to the MP3 version of the album:
Amazon Digital Store: http://www.amazon.com/Because-Internet-Explic…/…/ref=sr_1_1…
Google Play Store:https://play.google.com/…/Childish_Gambino_Because_The_Inte…
Apple’s iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/…/album/because-the-in…/id752461511

Hope you enjoyed this review of Childish Gambino‘s wonderful album, Because of the Internet. Thanks for reading.
Support Artists, Buy Music.

Review for Because of the Internet by Childish Gambino (2013, MP3)

Review of good kid, m.A.A.D city by Kendrick Lamar (2012, MP3) Review by Jake Heraty

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good kid, m.A.A.D city Kendrick Lamar (2012, MP3)
Review 4 / 4 (Yes 4 out of 4, I explain below)
There is a reason that in the opening of the brilliant song, Compton, off of Lamar’s 2012 effort good kid, m.A.A.D City, that they call Kendrick “King Kendrick Lamar” because Kendrick has become the new face of mainstream rapping. He is real. He is raw and he tells the story of a young man coming out of the harsh environment of Compton, California with a unique style that you can’t help but admire as you listen to the tracks off of Maad City.
As I had said in my 2Pac: Greatest Hits review, I really can’t identify with the “thug life” aspect that Lamar is trying to talk about but that really doesn’t matter as Kendrick immerses you into his life, his childhood and upbringing in Compton from his friends to the introduction and later dependence of alcohol and his views of the city that he calls home. The album is a portrait of what made Kendrick Lamar the man he is now and it is beautifully and meticulously crafted.
The good kid is Kendrick and he is living in a truly m.A.A.D city of Compton and this is a love letter to his younger self signed by his adult self trying to tell everyone that someone can get out of the harsh enviroment that they grew up and make something of themselves. He takes the old saying of “Don’t Be a Product of Your Environment, Make Your Environment a Product of You” to a whole new level by making it the moral lesson of the album and making the city Compton be the background for the story of growth, redemption, love and success that he tells in the album of good kid, m.A.A.D City and that what makes this album truly amazing for me.
There are songs that upon first listening just sound like songs that they would bump in nightclubs but after taking a closer look you discover that it is much deeper that holds a raw story of who Kendrick is and what kind of struggles that he has been through. “Swimming Pools (Drank)” is one that I, embarrassingly, just skipped over after hearing just a few seconds but after I listened to it I suddenly realized it paints the dark and even horrific reality of Kendrick’s dependance of alcohol, his introduction of it from his family and the social pressures that causes him to keep drinking which fuels the fire of addiction. Pure, raw and brilliant. It’s songs like this that the title of “King Kendrick Lamar” is justified. Songs like “Poetic Justice”, “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe” and “Compton” just adds more and more examples of Kendrick’s artistry.
Then there are the songs like “Sing About Me, I’m Dying of Thirst” makes you pause and think. The song above is about the rough realities that occur everyday in the ghetto in Compton and how day to day life is a struggle. Lines like “You ran outside when you heard my brother cry for help / Held him like a newborn baby and made him feel / Like everything was alright /And a fight he tried to put up, but the type / Of bullet that stuck had went against his will / As blood spilled on your hands” makes you pause. The title “Sing About Me, I’m Dying of Thirst” is something that someone would say when they talk to someone they look up to. Then I realized that this song is Kendrick telling the stories of people that he grew up with and around in Compton and his thoughts on these stories years later after success and fame has came to him.
This is the one song that cements Kendrick Lamar the actual “King Kendrick Lamar” in my mind. A great artist creating a truly great album that also doubles as a love letter to his past self and his hopes for the future.
That is why I give this album 4 / 4.
If you want to listen to the album that I just gave 4 / 4, here are the links:
Thank you for reading. Hope you enjoyed my review.
Tell me what you think of Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.D City.
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Review of good kid, m.A.A.D city by Kendrick Lamar (2012, MP3) Review by Jake Heraty