You’re Killin’ It: Macklemore
When “Thrift Shop” dropped, YKI wasn’t even born. So this baby is a bit overdue. But YKI is about giving credit where credit is due, so overdue or not, it’s time to pay “Thrift Shop” its dues. A 2012 rap song talking about poppin’ tags at the thrift shop is beyond rare, kind of like a grown man rockin’ a onesie. Like that wasn’t amazing enough, the hip-hop community embraced the track’s message. “Thrift Shop” is currently the 7th hottest rap song on Billboard. Honestly, I think “this is fuckin’ awesome.” Macklemore, you’re killin’ it.
“Thrift Shop’s” success is in part due to Macklemore’s braggadocios style. A lot of rappers incorporate depth into their rhymes, but they sound corny or preachy. Today’s mainstream rap, and most rap in general, is successful because it’s very proud. Rap evokes the “proud” emotion unlike any other genre and that’s why it’s so damn appealing. When a person listens to rap, they feel like they’re the best in the world. Whether they’re planking on a million, or in the club with their bandz makin’ her dance. A lot of deep rap fails to ignite this emotion. When hipsters complain about not seeing so-and-so on top of the rap game selling a million in a week, it’s probably because so-and-so fails at puffing people’s chests. Remember that the unemployment rate is still at 8 percent. People want to dream about the cash money they want. Hip-Hop paints the canvas for one’s imagination.
Macklemore married the mainstream rap everyone loves with the deep themes explored in the underground. Much like Kendrick’s “Swimming Pools,” Mack’ appealed to both audiences. Kendrick spoke about alcohol, Macklemore is talking about consumerism and appearances. Macklemore said, hey look, forget Neimen Marcus, the thrift shop is just as cool. Swag is all about confidence, not triple digit price tags. At the same time, Macklemore bragged about his un-rapper-like shopping habits in a very mainstream way. Rappers aren’t even supposed to shop at thrift stores. Can you picture Birdman at a thrift store? Macklemore proved that rappers don’t have to boast about Bugattis or expensive jewelry to create that “on top of the world” feeling. Not once did Macklemore talk about Ferraris, Maybachs, or Louis Vuitton luggage.
The hip-hop community also deserves recognition for embracing the song and making it the #7 rap song in the country. Digitally, “Thrift Shop” is at the 3rd spot on the rap charts. On YouTube, the music video has more than 23 million views. The community has undoubtedly accepted Macklemore’s message with open rams. My people, you’re killin’ it.
“Thrift Shop” is the second song this year to marry a positive message with a popular sound. Thoughtful rappers are now looking for ways to appeal to both sides of the aisle, the rap heads, and the radio head boppers. Not that hip-hop isn’t in a great place right now, or that it wasn’t alive 3 years ago, but hip-hop is going back to its essence, critiquing the world around it for the advancement of the culture. “Thrift Shop” addresses consumerism, and “Swimming Pools” speaks on peer pressure. Both are revolutionary songs fueling an intelligence renaissance in hip-hop. Hip-Hop is very alive. Well, Macklemore is kind of killin’ it, but you get it.