Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
The Heist



by Daytrader Vader CONTRIBUTOR (35 Reviews)
September 24th, 2014 | 26 replies

Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A statement on the world we live in today and the problem with living that way. This sophomore effort from the Seattle duo isn't afraid to tackle taboo subjects and making those topic comfortable to listen to, with help from an amazing producer in Ryan Le

In 2013, the mainstream allowed at least one indie act to squeeze into the public view: Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, with their single “Thrift Shop” being the biggest song of the year. Since then, the public has been able to see what they are capable of. Songs like “Can’t Hold Us” and “Thrift Shop” showed they can be an exciting group that can make a great party anthem. However, the latter brings up my other point of why this album is amazing. The previously mentioned “Thrift Shop”, has a great message of instead of spending a *** ton of money on designer close, you should wear whatever you want. Lines like “They be like, "Oh, that Gucci - that's hella tight./"I'm like, "Yo - that's fifty dollars for a T-shirt/Limited edition, let's do some simple addition/Fifty dollars for a T-shirt - that's just some ignorant bitch”. Songs like “Neon Cathedral”, “Wing$”, and “Same Love” are bold enough to tackle themes most rappers won’t even touch like alcoholism, materialism, and same-sex marriage. Lines like, “White privilege, white guilt, at the same damn time/so we just party like it’s 1999/celebrate the ignorance while these kids keep dyin'.” and, “This dream that they sold to you/For a hundred dollars and some change/Consumption is in the veins/And now I see it's just another pair of shoes”, and, “The right wing conservatives think it's a decision/And you can be cured with some treatment and religion” shows they business. Being able to proficiently talk about subjects like this makes Mack one the most forward-thinking artists in mainstream music.

However, the group is called Macklemore AND Ryan Lewis. Adding Lewis to the main crediting was one of the best things Mack could've done. Lewis is able to create beats from a diverse range of styles, from “Thrift Shop” dirty sax, to “Cowboy Boots” country-themed tune, to 80’s synth in “Neon Cathedral”. However, if you want to hear Lewis at his best, “Bombom” is where you’ll want to check. What is the message of this song? Ryan Lewis is amazing and here’s why. The way the song evolves from a beautiful piano intro to a Rio-inspired beat, horns, drums and all the other good stuff, and eventually leaves with a soft outro combining both of the sounds. Another personal favorite of mine is “Jimmy Iovine”, with its beat making it the most bass-filled and intense songs in the album. Along with one of Macklemore’s better performances, this song is kickass. Then there’s Macklemore. He is the less interesting part of the duo on a technical standpoint. While he is an amazing songwriter, he isn’t the most spectacular rapper out the. He has good flow, but nothing really tries to show he can take anyone out. Also, he occasionally decides to ditch rhyming and pairs lines that, while sounding well in context, don’t technically rhyme. But what he’s rapping about is truly the main focus in this record, so a screw up or two can be looked over.

While the high points are indeed amazing, there are a few slip-ups. “White Walls” goes against everything “Thrift Shop” and “Wing$” was all about, making this the worst of the album. Since, I’m not to much of a fan of country “Cowboy Boots” beat didn’t interest me that much, but country fans would probably like this. While “Gold” has the least to say and treads the line of “White Walls”, it’s a bit of a guilty pleasure. However, the good easily trumps the bad. Besides, it’d be hard to discuss 15 controversial topics without sounding preachy.

The Heist is a gem that ponders about how people in the modern day live, and tries to flip that on its side. It’s progressive, thought-provoking, and knows how to treat touchy subjects with a certain care that can be respected. But that doesn’t mean that all this album is serious and unenergetic, as Ryan Lewis is the man behind the scenes bring great tracks that can raise the roof, but he still has that subtly to make beats that compliment every track to make the lyrics and the music one and the same. I will now close this review with a quote from one of their songs that I feel captures their careers in one line,” The TV told me something different I didn't believe it/ I stand here in front of you today all because of an idea/I could be who I wanted if I could see my potential”

Recommended Tracks
Can’t Hold Us
Same Love
Jimmy Iovine
A Wake
Starting Over

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Comments:Add a Comment 
September 24th 2014


Album Rating: 2.0


September 24th 2014


Album Rating: 1.5


Digging: Kanye West - 808s and Heartbreak

Staff Reviewer
September 24th 2014


Adding Lewis to the main crediting was one of the best things Mack could've done

Adding his name to the front sleeve isn't in any way related to his skill as a producer

September 24th 2014


Album Rating: 2.0

uh no

September 24th 2014


Macklewhoring myself out to the industry

September 24th 2014


I feel that after you have achieved pubic hair it's best to stop with the superhero shtick.

Contributing Reviewer
September 24th 2014


well written review. few things here and there that could be fixed but otherwise very solid effort, pos'd.

Digging: Deafheaven - New Bermuda

September 24th 2014


Album Rating: 3.5

Still love this album

Contributing Reviewer
September 24th 2014


Album Rating: 2.5

@scuroFantsama anything in particular?

@Deviant It wasn't a literal meaning, I just felt that as soon as Ryan Lewis was added to the main crediting, I felt that the music was even better.

Digging: J Dilla - Donuts

September 24th 2014


so i heard this guy ended racism

Digging: The Menzingers - After The Party

September 24th 2014


Album Rating: 3.0

I caaaaaan't change

Even if I tried

Digging: Jens Lekman - Life Will See You Now

September 24th 2014


I think I've heard thrift shop over 20 thousand times

September 24th 2014


I still love the drums on Cant Hold Us!

Contributing Reviewer
September 24th 2014


"anything in particular?"

nothing major but I'll speak generally rather than listing specific problems:

-try to avoid adding 'personal opinion' e.g. '“Cowboy Boots” beat didn’t interest me that much' and as a follow up...

-try to back up your other points. e.g. "Being able to proficiently talk about subjects like this makes Mack one the most forward-thinking artists in mainstream music." why is that? same could be said for the above statement. expand upon points like these.

-"While popular music is almost always ***" starting a review like this is not fantastic for a few reaons; you have simultaneosly given in to the two biggest turn-offs in a review, which are uneccessary swearing (not that you actually fall into this category because the rest of your review is quite well written and well argued and isn't filled with swear words, but starting off like this can cause readers to believe you will continue in a similar manner)

the other is blanket statements. Taste is a matter of opinion and what you find to be of a poor quality, others may enjoy which is why it is 'popular music'. Making a general statement in regards to popular music being of a low quality autpmatically introduces bias into the review and readers will doubt the credibility of the writing. Of course the reivew WILL be bias but it's important to appear as though the review is 'professional'.

I know it looks like I've written a lot but seriously the review is great, these are just some things to look out for in the future, hope you keep reviewing man! (:

September 24th 2014


Sometimes I dress up like an ugly old jew and walk around town and nobody gets mad at me #savemacklemore

Contributing Reviewer
September 24th 2014


Album Rating: 2.5

Thanks Scuro, I'll keep that in mind!

September 24th 2014


Album Rating: 4.0

The album everyone loves to hate. Nice review man

Digging: Jakob - Subsets of Sets

September 24th 2014


Half good album, half bad album. Though the production is easily the stand out aspect of the whole album.

Though I do feel that their stuff on VS, and Macklemore's solo LP "Language To My World" and his Proff. Macklemore "Open Your Eyes" were better releases.

Digging: Fade (Italy) - Why Us?

September 24th 2014


Oh yeah

"Recommended Tracks:
A Wake"

Its just Awake

September 24th 2014


Album Rating: 3.0

The 6th track is where everything starts going downhill for me.

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