The Heist steals the show

It’s rare these days for an album to really grab a person. If you haven’t grabbed a copy of The Heist by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis it’s about time you did!

The Heist is an album of our times, composed by a duo who have gone mainstream without succumbing to the lures of big record and management companies. The album itself is an excellent combination of fun tracks and serious words. Listen to “Thrift Shop” and then to “Same Love” and you’ll hear why. Macklemore deals with everything from his substance abuse to same-sex stereotypes to wearing “granddad’s clothes.”

Macklemore (Ben Haggerty) has released music previously, though his collaboration with Ryan Lewis on The Heist seems the ideal combination of real lyrics and hip hop talent with quality sound production. What else? This is a hip hop album without samples. It’s been called a DIY-album by the likes of Rolling Stone because the artists use all original recordings. The band includes Andrew Joslyn on violin, Owour Arunga on trumpet and Ray Dalton as vocalist. “Same Love” also features fellow Seattle singer-songwriter Mary Lambert, amongst others.

Macklemore has often been involved with youth programs. He worked at a juvenile detention facility after college, and after his own bout with substance abuse it seems he made a pact with himself to do better. As his track “Starting Over” states, “If I can be an example of getting sober/Then I can be an example of starting over.”

Macklemore, who now is a part of BET’s Music Matters campaign, seems to understand the difference between preaching and communicating to his audience.
On the lighter side of things, if you want some great tracks to ski and snowboard to this season you must get a hold of “Thrift Shop,” Macklemore’s hilarious ode to the real value of second-hand clothing, as well as “Gold” and “Jimmy Iovine.”

There really are no bad tracks on this album. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, through hard work, creativity and passion have shown a lot of other hip hop artists up on The Heist, which is as exciting as it is thought-provoking.

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