This young up and comer was introduced to me as a grammy nominated collaborator of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. My interest was peaked immediately, seeing as I am a huge fan of these two artists. I expected loud poppy hooks and RnB influenced themes – what I heard was nothing of the sort. I immediately recognized touches of Flying Lotus and even Radiohead in the mix.
My favourite part of the song comes in at 2:23, when it slows down into a piano breakdown that builds up immediately into an experimental smorgasbord of eclectic instrumentation and tasteful musicianship – NOT exactly what I expected from this, at all! Looking forward to more interesting sounds from this guy, for sure.
Here’s what Budo himself had to say about the production:
“An Elderly Woman Named Jeff is a battle cry. It is a shout to the heavens, a statement of purpose, and a thing of odd beauty. I haven’t released new solo music in over 2 years. Jeff is a song that celebrates a new direction, a new beginning, and a new way forward. This is independent music, made by me, for you. I humbly ask that, if you like it, you share it with your friends, family, co-workers, children, neighbors, and elderly companions.” – Budo
Macklemore’s daughter, Sloane Ava Simone Haggerty was born on May 29th, and fatherhood has clearly been weighing on him heavily in the ensuing months. He gets a lot off his chest on “Growing Up,” aided by a bluesy, soulful piano-and-guitar beat from Lewis and a gospel-tinged hook fro Ed Sheeran.
The track is tender, honest and emotional, as Macklemore doles out life advice on everything from cheating in class to finding your passion in life. He speaks candidly about the difficulties of fatherhood as a performer living life on the road, and the difficult balancing act he hopes to achieve.
Macklemore also sent a note accompanying the track for context.
“When you try to escape yourself, life has an interesting way of creating situations that force you to come back. To look at who you are. This is why ‘Growing Up’ felt like the right song to re-emerge with. It’s where I’ve been the last year, through all the ups and downs. We didn’t want to do a big campaign or anything over the top with this. We just wanted to put out good music, directly to the people that have been here since the beginning. Thank you for your patience. Hope you enjoy.”
Fatherhood has been a major theme in hip-hop recently. Chance the Rapper announced just a few weeks ago that he was expecting a child, and claimed the announcement would change the way fans listened to Surf, his latest record.
It remains to be seen if fatherhood is going to turn Macklemore into a softer, gentler artist, but “Growing Up” is certainly a different direction from much of the super speed, fist-pounding rap of tracks like “Can’t Hold Us.”
“Growing Up” isn’t the first single off a new album, just a raw moment of insight that will make even the staunchest “Thrift Shop” haters stop and listen.
A free download link is included below via SoundCloud, and you can read Macklemore’s full letter here.
Check below for the track’s full lyrics:
The countdown is on for the inaugural Bottle Rock Music & Art Festival in Napa Valley, California. The festival begins tomorrow night, Wednesday May 8th, with a headlining performance by none other than Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. Between Wednesday and Sunday, the show will feature over 60 bands on three different stages, top wineries from the region, the best of the local food, a slew of microbrews, and today’s top comedians (including my personal favorite, Rob Delaney).
The festival has made quite a splash in the Northern California social sphere, as thousands of people flocked to the website on the day tickets first went on sale. Since then, the buzz has built and the nascent festival has amassed over 50,000 fans on Facebook.
So what’s all the fuss about? Well, aside from the local flavor of the greatest vineyard-filled land in the country, the lineup is rather impressive. Here are my top three picks for each day of the festival:
Wednesday 5/8: Macklemore and Ryan Lewis (there aren’t many other performers this day, so I stuck to one here)
Thursday 5/9: The Avett Brothers, Delta Spirit, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
Friday 5/10: The Black Keys, The Shins, Blues Traveler
Saturday 5/11: Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Iron & Wine, Sharon Van Etten
Sunday 5/12: Grouplove, Mavis Staples, Rogue Wave
If you’re going out to the festival (see you there!) and are concerned about how to get around the area, fear not! One of my personal favorite transportation companies, Uber, will be set up in Napa with easy ways to get from place to place. They’ll have a bunch of cars set up ready to take you to and from your destination.
Lastly, continue reading for a playlist I put together with the Best of Bottle Rock musical performers.
This is an oldie from the duo, but Macklemore & Ryan Lewis decide to re-release this irish sounding tune via their SoundCloud to celebrate this wonderful green holiday.
Happy St. Paddy’s Day, folks!
Macklemore put a status on his Facebook page today letting the world know about Shelton Harris, a young guy he met at a skatepark who’s now making some pretty dope music. This song, “Wake Up,” samples Biggie and is not only catchy, but proves that this boy has some flow. I’m intrigued by this young’n, and you can tell he’s really inspired by Macklemore. See below for “Wake Up” and a cover he did of Macklemore’s “Can’t Hold Us” featuring Ray Dalton. Follow Shelton on Twitter @sheltonraps.
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis just released The Heist yesterday, October 9th, and we’re here to leave our thoughts on it. Similar to our Frank Ocean Channel Orange review, the team of Sunset writers are all going to leave our thoughts on The Heist. If you need a bit of backup leading up to this release, check out a couple different previews:
- Stream Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’s The Heist in its entirety
- Watch the music video for controversial track “Same Love”
- Watch the music video for party jam “Thrift Shop”
- Watch the music video for “Otherside” ft. Fences
Hit the jump to read all writers’ reviews, but before you get there…I’d highly recommend buying this album. Support the artists! (And I have to apologize for taking up so many words, but I couldn’t contain myself. Macklemore might be my favorite rapper of all time, so I really wanted to take the chance to say what I felt needed to be said. -Lydia)
Continue reading “Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – The Heist [Album Review]” »
This is important. Be aware of that before you hit play. If you woke up today and wanted a forgettable, uneventful day in which you do nothing but survive, then don’t listen to this album. If you’re like me, this will be a “first listen” that you’ll remember for a long, long time. As rap fans we can only be thankful that someone like Macklemore exists in the industry. Let’s celebrate The Heist, and watch the Seattle MC get the mainstream attention (hopefully) he deserves on October 9th.
As Macklemore & Ryan Lewis gear up for the release of their upcoming album, The Heist, in a few weeks, they decided to drop off the visuals for the controversial track, Same Love.
Now I don’t want to talk much because this is a powerful video so I’d rather let the video do the talking. All I’m going to say is that this has the kind of power to make people stop saying the word “gay.” I didn’t even realize it was an 8 minute video until after I was done watching it. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are fucking geniuses and The Heist is about to be crazy. Peep the video below.
This is fucking awesome.
Macklemore is my favorite rapper right now. He can rap about anything, and he’ll do it better than most rappers in the world. Ryan Lewis once again kills this beat, and The Heist is looking to be one of the best rap releases of the year. Also, I think I’m going to get a fur coat now?
Sunday at Lollapalooza marked one of the first times I felt old at a concert setting. I mean, sure, festivals like this are typically filled with the young and restless, but this time shit got generational on me.
I was a face in the crowd in the middle of the Macklemore & Ryan Lewis set, my first this day, when the Seattle emcee probed his fans with a question. “How many of you guys were born in the 70s?” A small murmur responded at best. Then he asked, “How many of you guys were born in the 80s?” A decent cheer followed, including myself (I’m 23, by the way.) Finally, Macklemore beckoned, “how many of you guys were born in the 90s?” And the whole crowd erupted.
Well, at least I can say I’m still hip, right?
Check out the sounds from a few of the performances I got the chance to see on Sunday below, as well as some visuals of Jack White absolutely killin’ it in front the Chicago skyline and a good chunk of its population.
Macklemore X Ryan Lewis – Wings
JUSTICE - Horsepower
Childish Gambino – Break (AOTL)
Jack White – Sixteen Saltines (Live)
Macklemore drops off a new cut called Same Love. Obviously this won’t get as much attention as Frank Ocean’s letter to the world, but this is perfect timing (because of Frank Ocean’s letter) as Macklemore attacks the topic of being gay. He speaks truth on this one.
Stream is below (as well as The Heist Trailer) and hit the jump to see what went behind making this track.
I think New Year’s Eve and Day can be split into two things: one great big fucking party and a time to reflect and start over. This Friday At Five is one great big fucking party. It’s filled with some of my favorite bangers from the year as well as a few new funky tracks. Huh. Maybe this New Year’s Eve will get weird. Stream the songs below and play this shit at midnight, like TV shows with boobies.
1. “Ready 2 Go (ft. Kele)” – Martin Solveig
2. “Pieces of You (Baby Monster Remix)” – Wolf Gang
3. “Something for the Weekend” – Ben Westbeech
4. “I’m Gonna Steal Your Date” – Mike and Cody
5. “Nobody’s In Love (Xaphoon Jones Remix)” – 2AM Club
6. “Irish Celebration” – Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
And what NYE playlist is complete without this Grammy-snubbed song, which has actually–believe it or not–has had a grand effect on my life (a story for another day…seriously).
7. “Big Booty Bitches” – A Lost People
Oh, and I kind of promised a friend that I’d post this video here. It’s his new rap song. Pretty dope.