Macklemore & Ryan Lewis: Rhymin' and Stealing

On the first two tracks of The Heist, Seattle emcee Macklemore reaches for artistic self-definition, alternately declaring himself a child of the Wu-Tang Clan and an amalgamation of David Bowie, Malcolm Gladwell and Kanye West. While that would make an interesting dinner party, it's not an entirely accurate description of the album that he and producer Ryan Lewis have crafted. The sound is a lush hybrid of bouncy dorm-room funk and late aughts electropop, while Macklemore channels the consummately earnest polemics of Atmosphere's Slug. He doesn't quite have the subtlety or narrative acumen of that Minnesota rapper, but is quite funny, and gifted at projecting his DIY ethos. "Thrift Shop" imagines our hero swagging on a budget, entering the club in gator shoes, leopard mink and a velour jumpsuit; while "Jimmy Iovine" finds him breaking into that music executive's office and being greeted with a record contract that nets him 7% of his overall sales. Macklemore concludes that he'd "rather be a starving artist than succeed at getting f*cked." Perhaps there is a little Gladwell in him, after all. – Sam Chennault, Google Play

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