In Defense of Macklemore

The other day I saw a Tweet from self-publishing success story Amanda Hocking that got me thinking. Here’s the Tweet:

macklemore tweet

There seems to be a lot of backlash against Macklemore & Ryan Lewis which seems…well…unfair. You know what else is unfair? Comparing any artist to the Beatles, as if every musical artist is supposed to be earth shattering. Not every musician can change the face of music, nor should they be expected to. But Macklemore & Ryan Lewis actually are shaking the ground of hip-hop a bit.

It is a bit unfortunate that they broke out with “Thrift Shop” which isn’t all that representative of their music, but which is, nonetheless, a completely fun pop song (with an anti-consumerism message that I admire and isn’t the only one on the album). I imagine that if you came to The Heist through “Thrift Shop” you might be surprised about what you find on the album, and that this kind of backlash is just part of being HUGE. But I came to this album a few months before it hit big, and even endorsed it on WNPR’s Colin McEnroe Show just before it blew up. (You’re welcome, guys!) I saw them performing their marriage equality anthem on The Ellen Degeneres Show, before the election and I was immediately a fan.

I was willing to download the album just to support any hip-hop artist that was speaking out against homophobia in the genre, but I also started doing my due diligence and came across songs like this one about struggling with addiction:

Is it a perfect album? No. Is it going to change the face of music? Nope. But is it a good album with some fun songs, and some really good songs that discuss important subjects? Absolutely. And it most certainly is music. But you don’t have to take my word for it.

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