I’m sure almost everyone who reads this has heard the song “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore. Many of you probably know the lyrics and sing along when it plays on the radio. It’s catchy, fun, and has a good message. It also launched a popular underground rapper from Seattle into superstardom. It was the hook that pulled me and many others into Macklemore’s powerful album The Heist.
The quality of the music behind the album is stunning. An instrumental track featuring The Teaching sucks you into a deep and rich musical experience that is complex and encompassing. The whole album features extremely talented musicians and singers from Seattle. And the lyrics laid over this awesome music redefine what hip hop is.
Gay rights, consumerism, relapse and alcoholism, and the analysis of superficiality are just a few of the issues and themes explored. But the freshness of the music and the originality of the message aren’t the most amazing thing about the album. The most inspiring and motivating aspect of The Heist is that it was independently produced. No record label put their mitts on it. There was no million dollar marketing campaign behind it. And because of that, it remained pure. It is the sole creation of the artists, unpolluted by capitalistic ideals. And it’s beyond amazing. The process is a huge paradigm shift for the music industry.
For me, it’s a motivating success story. I’m independent of an editor, an agent, a giant publishing house. There’s many tools and resources I’m not able to take advantage of because of that, but I am able to retain complete creative freedom. My story, my way. I listen to The Heist and I hear that sentiment and I feel inspired. If you haven’t listened to the whole album, I highly recommend that you do. It might inspire you.