“The Heist” touches and teaches

Rashad Muhammad, Opinion Editor

“The Heist” paints Macklemore and Ryan Lewis as the ultimate machine. Even though it was originally released in 2010, the album didn’t seem to pick up speed in mainstream until this year following the video release of “Thrift Shop”.


Their collaborative efforts challenges the Drake and Noah “40” Shebib duo as the best Rapper-Engineer combination in the world of music. That may place a hefty burden on the shoulders of the two but the praise is well deserved.


Their fist album, “The Heist” infuses hip-hop, soft rock, pop, and even a little country. Macklemore uses his history of drug addiction, reckless behavior and former relationships to elucidate his beliefs and thoughts.


Thanks to the ever-popular single, “Thrift Ship”, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis have taken the world by storm. “Thrift Shop” illustrated the duos eclectic nature and their overall self-awareness.


The one word to describe this album is “unexpected”. The two have changed the game of rap for years come. This album isn’t the greatest of all time but it personifies the meaning of integrity and social responsibility.


It puts the rap game on notice because it calls for rappers to be responsible for the words the say.


The same track that sold over 2 million singles actually makes it cool for people to wear hand-me downs and beat up vintage clothing. It helps those less fortunate create a public persona with only a few bucks.


Macklemore kept true to his lyrics by being seen wearing sweaters that even Bill Cosby wouldn’t be caught dead in.


The first track starts out with a simple melody to help introduce the pair as a duo.


The weirdest song would probably be “Cowboy Boots”. The song starts out with a country-like feel but then progresses into a banjo-filled hoedown instrumental chant.  What’s unique is that it never keeps that same tone for the verses, but only the hook and chorus.


The song “Jimmy Iovine” is the most creative and story-like track of the deluxe album. It features Ab-Soul on the chorus and Macklemore in an almost ballad-like rap.


The song is about Macklemore pretending to be a janitor/painter in order to get to the top floor of the Interscope building. He ultimately commits a “heist” by attempting to force A&R reps to give him a contract. It almost contradicts the message the duo portrays when they publicly turn down numerous contract offers in order to maintain their self-respect. This is true until the second verse begins.


Macklemore is actually presented a contract but it only guarantees a small percentage of his overall earnings. In some not so kind words, Macklemore refutes the contract offer and rather chooses to be a starving musician than a gutless pushover.


What is most likely the best conscious single of the year thus far, “Same Love” is also the most culturally inspiring song of the multifarious collection. Featuring Mary Lambert, it begins with a piano arrangement and lyrically begins with Macklemore saying, “When I was in the third grade, I thought that I was gay, Cause I could draw, my uncle was, and I kept my room straight.”


As a child, he considered drawing a feminine activity because that’s what people taught little boys.


He goes on to challenge predispositions and the hypocrisy of American politics as a whole. The chorus explains the meaning of the song in only a few words: “I can’t change, Even if I tried, Even if I wanted to, I can’t change”.


Macklemore also accuses hip-hop as being homophobic and challenges the popular genre to make a change.


“The Heist” is one of the most diverse collections of songs that will ever be heard. If there is a critique, it’s the seemingly monotonic tone the Macklemore voices through the album. The tone is synonymous with his signature style but some may find it too repetitive. This may also be a reason why the group chooses to remain independent. They don’t want to change what made them unique.


Nevertheless, this album will change the way many think, and ultimately change some lives. This is more than just an album. It is a musically engineered confessional. It is a message. Dare to be different and be brave enough to embrace yourself first before looking for validation in others.