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The Heist
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:$10.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on October 10, 2012
This album is fantastic. But I feel completely cheated by Amazon because nothing on this page indicated that I was purchasing the watered down, edited version of this album. Make sure you order the version called The Heist [Explicit] if you want to hear all of the songs in the form they were intended to be heard.
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on March 1, 2013
This is explict! Buyer beware! Bought this supposedly clean version to be heard by tweens & it is not "clean"! Amazon not has another version listed, not available when I made my purchase. To be clear this review is NOT about content, it is about it not be label EXPLICIT! It still is not labeled as EXPLICIT.
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on January 25, 2013
Too much rap today is repetitive, narcissistic, inane, untruthful. Where is the edge? Where is the story telling? Where is the truth? (Even in the 2pac era, rapping about money was really about the *desire* for power and money at a time when such things were inaccessible to black youth, and seemed to be intended as a stark contrast to the crack epidemic that was decimating inner city neighborhoods. The 'money' story line is now 20 years old, and has morphed to become less relevant, less truthful, more vain, more narcissistic, and boringly ubiquitous.). Maybe I had just outgrown rap....

Enter the Heist. I was sent a link to the NPR "Tiny Desk" concert performed by Macklemore and was blown away. Here was Macklemore challenging the homophobic culture of hip hop, while examining his own assumptions about what it meant to be gay. In the next song challenging the narrative about money by professing his love for "your Grandpa's clothes" that he could pick up in a thrift shop. (About designer t-shirts: "That shirt's hella dough; And having the same one as six other people in this club is a hella don't!") Story telling! An edge! Something novel! Hallelujah!

The message is all well and good, but to be honest I probably wouldn't have made it that far if the music didn't sound good. But it does. Banging bass. Melody. Great vocals. A trumpet loads the songs with energy; the songs are interlaced with samples from '90s era hip hop. The songs actually progress and develop. Macklemore changes his tempo and phrasing. Good stuff.

My best advice: Check out Macklemore's 'NPR Tiny Desk' concert. If you're not blown away, then this isn't the CD for you. And.... I'm not sure you're a fan of the best that rap can be.

Macklemore is the next rap star in the making. In a way, a throwback. But also an evolution. And just in time.
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on November 18, 2013
i've tried so many times to get into this cd and i just can't. i liked the videos for thrift shop and can't hold us. not so much the songs. some of the hooks are catchy, and the guest spots are nice. i really don't like macklemore's rapping style or his content. at all.
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on March 1, 2013
I picked up this album, well I downloaded it, after seeing how much praise it was getting from seemingly everyone. On the first listen I was fascinated by how honest Macklemore was in his lyrics. He talked about his personal struggles, gay rights, the (corrupt) music industry, materialism, even shopping at used clothes stores.

Varied subject matter, pretty fun beats (I didn't mention that yet did I), so why only 3 stars, sir?

Well I think where this album falters is how it gets so drawn into being 'conscious rap' or saying important things that it takes away from the replayability and overall fun of it. Whats being said comes across similar to something inspiration that you might read about in the newspaper. The stories are intriguing but it's not something that's very enjoyable or something you would want to relive over and over. It is simply informative. That's how I feel about this album. Another thing is Macklemore's flow gets a little tired half way through the album. I would describe his rap style/voice like that of a person speaking to a shrink, from those cliche long black chairs that are associated with a psychologist and his patient, telling of his short comings and concerns. Only difference is he rhymes while doing so. It's truly refreshing when he seems excited to be rapping for food like he does on Thrift Shop, Jimmy Iovine and Wing$ (I like the subtle dollar sign in the songs title that talks about materialism). The aforementioned songs are also my favorite songs on the album. I don't think it's by chance that these also seem to be the songs he's most enthused about.

So do I recommend it? I have to say, yeah I do. Despite the issues that I have with it, this record is still pretty solid. Just know that if you're a huge rap head like me, you might not enjoy it as much a casual fan of the genre would.

On a completely different note, it's pretty cool that Macklemore and I share the same name even if that is only his stage name. Good pick, Macklemore, even if you do spell it wrong.
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on February 1, 2013
It was difficult to obtain, I still haven't been able to listen to it. Amazon needs to fix that because I'm a frequent customer and that discouraged me a lot.
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on June 9, 2013
Didn't have explicit content on music or song. Be careful before you buy or download. My daughter asked for this song. I have deleted the very explicit song. I did find & purchase the clean version, & I would recommend clean version of this song.
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on December 19, 2012
I bought this album because I liked Thrift Shop; I checked out some videos online and was absolutely blown away. I know the videos add a lot to each song, but simply listening to this album every day to and from work, I am completely blown away. I've contemplated buying it as a gift for a number of people that I know; today a young co-worker told me she was struggling with drinking and I immediately thought of the second to last track which talks about Macklemore's struggles with the same issue and I think his song could help her. This album is a blast to listen to but still focuses on real life. It's helped me.

There are a number of tracks that I have found to be powerful, both in their musical construction and their lyrical content. I play through new albums slowly, listening to each track multiple times before moving on, and some tracks are worthy of an album purchase all on their own. I have big hopes for this artist and would absolutely buy a follow-up album if it is similar.

There is however one huge blemish on this otherwise amazing record: Schoolboy Q's lyrics on the song White Walls. These are counter to everything Mackelmore seems to be about - they glorify "white hoes in the back seat snorting coke", stealing liquor, and having unprotected sex. This album is largely about Mackelmore's struggles with alcohol and drug abuse and the importance of humility and non-materialism. Schoolboy, go back to school - if you're going to rap, learn some rhetoric. I absolutely hate that part of that song. If I had heard this song first instead of Thrift Shop, I would have avoided this album entirely.
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on November 14, 2012
Wow. WOW! I've been a fan of Macklemore since I first heard and saw him perform here in Eugene. I didn't know who he was when I met him at his merch table (he opened for Blue Scholars) but if I could go back to that night I'd at least give him a handshake and preferably a hug. His words, combined with the spectacular musical abilities of Ryan Lewis, are genius, and I don't use that word lightly. This might be one of those Joshua Tree albums of hip-hop.

WATCH THE VIDEO FOR "SAME LOVE"! I cry every time I see it or hear the song and I know for a fact I'm not alone. The end of the video will really get you. The video for "Wing$" re-defines music videos as an art form and is so good you'd think Scorsese made it. The message of anti-materialism is especially important when you consider that a large part of Macklemore's demographic is teenagers.

One of the amazing things about Macklemore and Ryan Lewis is how they can be so humorous and lighthearted in one song and so inspirational and deep in the next. The song "Thrift Shop" on this album is humorous and quite enjoyable (the video especially), but "Same Love" and "Ten Thousand Hours" and "Neon Cathedral" are so intensely inspirational and from the heart that they make you want to just hug the album. The latter, "Neon Cathedral," and also "Starting Over," really hit those of us who have dealt with addictions, and it's songs like that which give us inspiration and a drive to become better people; they connect us with the artists in a way that is rare, especially if one has listened only to radio hip-hop.

The first song, "Ten Thousand Hours," is largely about the almost spiritual satisfaction that comes from putting in the effort to learn something to the utmost and ignore the common desire to just settle for something easy. I'm a very ambitious, self-motivated person myself so I'm no stranger to that but the hook "Ten thousand hours felt like ten thousand hands / ten thousand hands, to carry me" really put it in a different perspective: every hour I've spent learning my craft isn't a struggle, it's a small, subtle push in the right direction. It's this way of looking at things and providing a beautifully loving perspective that makes Macklemore so unique. I'm a huge fan of Atmosphere (of course), especially their last three albums, but one of the things I like more about Macklemore and Ryan Lewis is that they mix humor and fun into their often heavy and serious songs.

PLEASE buy the album, don't download it. I am PROUD to support Macklemore and Ryan Lewis and every dollar they earn from their art, real art, is well-deserved and worth it.
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on October 9, 2012
I'll admit, I'm a new fan, but I'm completely hooked.

Last week, two different friends shared the hooky "Thrift Shop" and heartfelt "Same Love" and either one alone might not have been enough for me to look into the rest of their tracks, but combined, I was intrigued enough to figure out what this guy was about. From there, the counter-culture-of-consumption messages in "Wing$" and hometown pride in "My Oh My" hit me and I was a confirmed fan. "Can't Hold Us" is addictive. I want to play "Starting Over" for everyone I know who's ever stumbled.

I was excited not just to listen to the album all the way through, but to pay money for it and hope Macklemore and Ryan Lewis get to keep making a living doing what they love for a long, long time.
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