Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – This Unruly Mess I Made (Album Review)
In my opinion, Macklemore can go bar for bar with any of your favorite rappers out right now. What his critics don’t understand is that a good rapper is a good rapper, even if he’s a white guy who chooses to rap over gimmicky ass production. (With my soliloquy out the way, I can now focus on his new album named ‘This Unruly Mess I Made’.)
‘This Unruly Mess I Made’ promises to follow the same standards of the duo’s old album, as they continues to balance rap bars with pop and inspirational messages. Will the duo go more of a hip hop route on this album? or will he continue to cater to the pop sound that made him oh so popular in the past? Let’s find out.
5. WHITE PRIVILEGE (4.2/5)
‘White Privilege’ is a song about race, by a very white artist. Ironically, I haven’t heard a black artist make a track like this in a while (Yet I heard over 300 tracks about dabbing just this weekend)!
I’m not sure how Macklemore actually feels about the whole meaning of black lives matter, but he definitely took a difficult opportunity to bring the topic up for conversation. Kudos to him.
On this track, he’s extremely honest about himself, and his type of people. In the first portion of the song, he’s aggressively calling his people out. In the second phase of the song, he’s a little more tamed, as he’s speaking in the perspective of his white fans. In the third phase, he’s a little more gentle, but still as aggressive in lyrical content as the first verse. So what phase is more effective to the listener? You decide.
The track plays like a documentary throughout, which is always impressive in music. You will absolutely appreciate it when you listen to it the first time, but may not want to listen to it again for a while after.
Macklemore touches a range of topics on this song, which is refreshing: He’s mad, he’s sad, he’s protesting, he’s goofy…..He’s Bernie Sanders in a nutshell.
4. KEVIN (4.6/5)
‘Kevin’ is another deep/personable song on the album, but you wouldn’t know that by the tempo of it. In this song, Macklemore is rapping about the effects prescription drugs had on the people in his life. His approach is interesting, as he doesn’t place blame on the individual taking the drugs, but the drug companies providing it. That is a very bold stance to have , cause everyone knows CVS and Rite Aid are bigger gangstas than anyone in this world!
They wanted Hip hop from Macklemore, and he provided true Hip Hop for us on this track! They wanted hardcore bars from Macklemore, and he provided it on this song! Mack satisfied every element that makes a good Hip hop song for this track.
Ryan Lewis and DJ Premier absolutely slay this beat! They managed to make it sound old school, but at the same time, keep this present hip hop feel to it. Very impressive.
Getting love from KRS-One is always a good look if you want to be a respected MC. KRS gives whatever hip hop venture you’re doing a stamp of approval. He’s ugly, but definitely prestigious in this game.
2. DOWNTOWN (4.8/5)
‘Downtown’ is a very brave song in this day and age: It’s the first song since 1991 that I would prefer to play on my record player than iPad.
First off, the beat caters to the old school players in the song, which is dope. Their old asses needed something to do anyway.
The transition from the old heads to Macklemore is almost seamless; that is hard to achieve given the fact that it’s two completely different styles of rap. In Mack’s verse, he’s definitely displaying his wit, and is showing a similar goofiness to his verses in ‘Thrift Shop’.
The energy in this song is impeccable! It’s not a “I want to beat the hell out of someone” type energy, it’s more like a “Hey, lets all get together as a band and clean the hell out of the basement” type energy.
This song was made to become a play in the future….And somehow, someway, we gotta have Cuba Gooding Jr. playing Macklemore.
1. GROWING UP (5/5)
‘Growing up’ is a beautiful song! Everything about the song is flawless.
I love Macklemore’s gentle approach to this track; His decision to harmonize some of his lines is masterful to me! As for his lyrics on the track, they are very personable, and give you the impression that he’s just as human as you when it comes to the notion of a child’s birth.
Ed Sheeran is amazing on this track (as usual), as he passionately sings his part during which the beat becomes more dramatic. He’s great isn’t he?……I tell ya, all we need is Kanye to snatch an award from him and he would be super duper famous by now.
SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN
HOT: White Privilege (5/5), Growing Up (5/5), Downtown (4.8/5), Kevin (4.8/5), Buckshot (4.7/5), Need To Know (4.4/5), Bolo Tie (4.3/5), Brad Pitt’s Cousin (4.0/5), Light Tunnels (4.0/5).
MEH: St. Ides (3.9/5), Dance Off (3.8/5)
STAY AWAY FROM: Let’s Eat (3/5)
OVERALL RATING (8.4/10)
The beats on this album are VERY DAMN GOOD! Each are unique in their own way (Isn’t it refreshing to hear an album that each track sounds different from the other? (ahem ahem Future)); this is why Ryan Lewis is just as important to the music as Macklemore is.
Macklemore is extremely dynamic on this album, and he experiments tremendously on it. Some of the songs Mack may go far too left on, which might be fuel for his critics to diss – but on the other hand, as an artist, you have to appreciate his willingness to experiment.
The album is very good, and I hope the people that have a negative opinion on him give him this chance to impress.
Quincy is the creator of Ratings Game Music. He loves writing about music, taking long walks on beaches, and spaghetti that fights him back.
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