#4 LP of 2012: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis "The Heist"


Macklemore and Ryan Lewis have created one of the best, all around albums of the year. From the ground up, with true songwriting.  Stemming from hard work and a take no prisoners attitude, these two guys remind us all to follow our dreams. The Heist proves that anything is possible.

All those cliches ring true here on The Heist: "Do it your way."  "Don't let anybody tell you you can't do it."  "Follow your heart," and "Hard work is the key."  Those ideals all come to a head on the introspective "Jimmy Iovine," where Macklemore describes feelings of finally reaching the pinnacle of his goal.  He goes to meet Jimmy Iovine at Interscope Records, hoping to get signed.  Feeling like his big break has finally come, and that his hard work has paid off, he's all but ready to start stacking that paper.

He said: we’ve been watching you, so glad you could make it
Your music gets so impressive in this whole brand you created
You're one hell of a band, we here think you’re destined for greatness
And with that right song we all know that you’re next to be famous
Now I’m sorry, I’ve had a long day remind me, now what your name is?
That’s right, Macklemore, of course, today has been crazy

Anyway, you ready? We’ll give you a hundred thousand dollars
After your album comes out we’ll need back that money that you borrowed
So it’s really like a loan, a loan? Come on, no
We're a team, 360 degrees, we will reach your goals!

We’ll get a third of the merch that you sell out on the road
Along with a third of the money you make when you’re out doing your shows
Manager gets 20, booking agent gets 10
So shit, after taxes you and Ryan have 7% to split

That’s not bad, I’ve seen a lot worse, No one will give you a better offer than us (mm-hm)
I replied I appreciate the offer, thought that this is what I wanted
Rather be a starving artist than succeed at getting fucked

The song is epic in it's scope.  I would love to put all the lyrics on this post but it's far too long.  If you love music you should seek this song out.  It's an honest look at the state of the music industry that no artist has ever written so candidly about.  Every time I hear it, it gives me cold chills.  Mainly because Mack and Lewis flipped the bird to a man that many refuse to turn down.  They took their pride, their music, and like Frank Sinatra, they did it their way.  You'd think a song this good alone might be reason enough to scream record of the year.  But read on, it's only the beginning.

This album has something for everybody.  It's a little bit Devil Without A Cause by Kid Rock, and a little like Seven's Travels by Atmosphere.  You have pop choruses filled with horns, country tinged songs with lap steel guitars, and keyboard driven hip hop, that some reviewers would call emo...I hate that phrase "Emo rap," so I'll pass on it.  However you want to classify The Heist though, the bottom line is, it works.  This album is really fun, the rap is intelligent, and the lyrics are simply unforgettable.

"Thrift Shop" is a fun look at resale shopping that is currently on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 10, and went to #1 on the iTunes chart.  It's got that old school hip hop feel, with a cool sax lead, and deep, bassy hook about "hunting" that perfect item (crazy looking jump suit), and popping tags to nab it.   Popping tags is "switching tags out for cheaper priced items. Common practice for the thriftiest of thrift shoppers."  In this story Mack scores a suit and some moccasins that end up being stinky, but professes that they looked really cool; nothing but originality here.

"Starting Over" features a killer cameo from Ben Bridwell of Band Of Horses fame.  His chilling voice is fitting for a song about relapsing.  Mack remembers how hard it is to face the people who look to you for guidance when you have fallen off the wagon yourself.  It's intense...

I could go on and on but this post must end.  I'll finish with the song that's been on my mind the most lately, "Same Love."  While the content is gripping and the lyrics deserve praise, it's the beautifully sung chorus by Mary Lambert that has me wrapped around it's finger.  I just can't stop singing it.  It's not the typical fare for a rap song because it challenges the listener to think for themselves.  It's just one more reason why The Heist is such a great record.

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