I’ll preface this review by stating prior to hearing his new album, The Heist, which I’d highly recommend, I had only heard of this guy a few times..never actually listened to what he had to say. This is a scene by scene, shot by shot review of his music video for the album’s hit single, Thrift Shop.
So the video begins with a wide shot of a bunch of haggard looking people rocking really weird shit. Roller blades, fur coats, and scooters. Thrift shop shit. The crew is lead by a particularly strange looking fellow with a particularly strange looking haircut wearing a particularly strange coat. We’re thinking this is probably Macklemore, but there’s no way to be sure… because I’ve never seen a picture of the guy, and this dude is very very white.
Woahh a DeLorean. If thrift stores sold cars, they would sell DeLoreans. We’re to assume the driver of the car is Ryan Lewis – the album’s producer.
And there he is again, flanked by two bizarre looking women sucking down big-gulps and pulling him along on his scooter while he just chills. It looks pretty fun, to be perfectly honest. At this point we know he’s our protagonist. He hops in the whip.
0:40 – Macklemore starts rhyming immediately upon entering the club. His opening line, “Walk up to the club like what up I got a big cock/nah I’m just pumped up on shit from the thrift shop” He’s totally jazzed on his get-up. Mink, jeans, hoes. Standard proCEEJah.
“Ice on the fringe is so damn frosty/the people like, damn..that’s a cold-ass honky.” Says the convinced-looking black dude in the club. We’re starting to get the vibe, and we’re starting to rock with it. The song is incredibly catchy, and Macklemore flows quick with wit and we try to keep up, smiling most probably. We’re all starting to think we knew a kid exactly like this guy in high school.
“Draped in a leopard mink, girls standing next to me, prolly shoulda washed this, smells like R Kelly sheets….PISSSSSSSS” and we see an improvised R Kelly roll past the camera, blindfolded, and smiling like a pedophile.
1:06 We are now in a massive thriftstore/warehouse where Macklemore is hopping from sofa to sofa in a billowy mink while a crew of shady looking people dance through the aisles. Intercut with slow motion, and the beat is juiced. We cut to a creepy looking old man as Macklemore references stealing grandpa’s style. “They had a broken keyboard/I bought a broken keyboard/I bought a ski blanket/then I bought a kneeboard.” This speaks to the ridiculous assortment of shit one will find in any random thrift store. We see a cut of Mack kneeboarding, which is funny.
“I’m gonna pop some tags/only got twenty dollars in my pocket/looking for a come-up/this is f*#^ing awesomeeeeeee”
Hook time. We witness, throughout the video, that the hooks are performed by various people..none of whom are the actual artist.. well I’m not totally sure of that seeing as I can’t find any evidence that this person, Wanz, actually exists. But I’m guessing it’s not the first character featured on the hook – A massively obese white woman who stares at the camera like it’s an infant while she flawlessly recites the lyrics. It’s pretty funny, and is paired with solid camera work.
We’re off to the second and third verses, where Macklemore continues rapping about how awesome the items he finds in store are, and we watch as he and his conglomerate of ridiculous looking amigos get buck in the warehouse.
“They be like ohh that gucci that’s hella tight/I’m like yo, that’s 50 dollars for a t-shirt../limited edition lets do some simple addition 50 dollars for a t-shirt that’s just some ignorant bitch shieettttt/I call that get swindled and pimped, shiett/I call that getting tricked by a business/ that shirts hella dough/ and having the same one as six other people in this club is a hella DONT/ peep game, come take a look through my telescope/ tryin get girls from a brand, and you hella WONT”
Keep in mind that this album is currently the #1 selling album on iTunes, and is getting some serious pub. And it’s cool that his message is what it is. I mean, on its surface is completely stupid, but the overall thought is valuable. He’s on top and he doesn’t care about the material stuff we’re all so used to hearing about. The thrift store itself can be a symbol for either an actual thrift-shop, or more importantly for individuality…as cliche as that sounds. He’s from Seattle, this track is one of many quality songs you’ll get on The Heist…so go get it.