Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Macklemore Steals Home on Record Labels, Naysayers

Hip-Hop Thievery

Criticize it for being 'hipster-hop.' Dismiss it for its Pacific Northwest slant and origin. Clown the artist for eschewing major label fortunes to retain control of his music and image. But don't say Macklemore hasn't beaten the odds by charting his own course.

A full 36 hours since its release and his debut full-length album alongside producer Ryan Lewis, The Heist, sits alone atop both the iTunes ALBUMS and HIP-HOP charts, besting new releases from the likes of Pink, Jay-Z, Muse, Kiss, and Mumford and Sons, all of whom pack the punch of multinational PR and marketing machines in their back pockets.

10/9/12, Seattle WA
While he continues to be ignored in some purist rap circles, the accomplishments and accolades continue to pile up ; an appearance on the cover of XXL Magazine this year as a nominee for 'Freshman of the Year' (despite being more than a decade on in his rap career) ; inking a deal with Miller to use his track "Can't Hold Us" in a commercial endorsement ; sold-out American AND European tours in the last year with stops from Los Angeles to New York, Dublin to Prague ; an already underway and mostly-sold-out world tour in support of The Heist, including a triumphant homecoming show with upwards of 8,000 tickets sold.

Mack is unconventional, to be sure. He raps about his love for second-hand clothes while others drop names like Hermes and Gucci just to get free samples. He supports gay marriage while travelling in and among the most traditionally homophobic of musical genres. And his ongoing struggle with chemical addiction has been a chance for him to inspire fans through the joys of his success since achieving sobriety, rather than celebrate the wobbly, weeded-out musings of his contemporaries.

In an art form that trots out the word 'real' as both noun and adjective, a look at the dictionary definition is warranted:

1re·al -  a : not artificial, fraudulent, or illusory : genuine b : having objective independent existence

His jeans may be tapered. His shows may be full of mostly-white 80's-and-90's-babies. Hell, he may fade into obscurity after this like so many of his Seattle-bred predecessors. But at this moment, nobody can tell Macklemore that his success is 'artificial,' 'fraudulent,' or 'illusory.' To the contrary, its as real as 'real' can get.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' The Heist was independently released under Alternative Distribution Alliance on October 9th, and is available on Itunes and record stores throughout the US:

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