Hip Hop seems to becoming less connected to its origin and not that linked to the person’s identity as it used to be. That’s why you might find Macklemore and Ryan Lewis not to be your stereotypical Hip Hop duo, but the balance of both serious and cheerful tracks makes this album one of the best in this genre. If you just know them because of “Thrift Shop” you have not listened to their fully potential. They are absolutely brilliant together.
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“Same Love” is a song that challenges the status quo of Hip Hop, especially dealing with the acceptance of homosexuality and marriage equality. Excellent piano keys and a moving chorus from Mary Lambert makes this song stand out. Just take a look at the lyrics; “No law is gonna change us, we have to change us / Whatever God you believe in, we come from the same one / Strip away the fear, underneath it’s all the same love / About time that we raised up.” They love to have fun, but when it’s time to get serious, they drop bombs on you like crazy.
This album is exiting and is finally taking us back to what Hip Hop used to be. The producer Ryan Lewis involvement is the instrumental aspect, he shows a wide range in creating beautiful beats and at the same time he complement Macklemore and the other guest vocalist on this album perfectly. The Seattle rapper Macklemore have been through a lot of personal struggles, which can reflect in some of the songs, but the album have been produced without the assistance of a record label. One word; unbelievable. They bring something that is almost nonexistent in the Hip Hop genre, which is vulnerability.
High quality music
After listening to this album, I can argue that all of the tracks represents a different story and seems to have a purpose. Some of the tracks might feel heavy handed such as “Neon Cathedral” and “Make The Money“. Both of these songs are fine pieces of music and are great to listen to but they are not as delicately constructed as some of the album’s standouts such as “Jimmy Iovine” or “Thin Line“.
One other song that stands out is “Wing$.” The meaning of this song is really about how consumerism and how companies like Nike sell us a brand name and nothing more. The message is that this starts at a young age and their advertising are sucking you in, and that kids are told that they need the brand name to succeed. Just take a look at the lyrics; “Look at me, look at me, I’m a cool kid / I’m an individual, yea, but I’m part of a movement / My movement told me be a consumer and I consumed it.” Honest and strong song.
I believe that this was the album of 2012, and will still be the album of 2013. It can be appreciated by anyone who enjoys high quality music with a strong message, and it exposes the maturation of Macklemore and how he has emerged from his substance abuse problems. I will argue that if you sit down, listen to all the tracks of this duo with a open mind, you will enjoy it. You will cry, you will laugh and you will appreciate the diversity and the hard work put in to making this album. It worked with me, and Macklemore is my number one favourite rapper.
You can purchase songs or the deluxe edition of the whole album here.