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So we put our hands up like the ceiling can’t hold us
December 18, 2012 10:28 AM   Subscribe

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis do a tiny desk concert at NPR. (Includes Same Love, posted previously.)
posted by anotherpanacea (18 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
I'm so glad you posted this. Very often, my favorite Tiny Desks are the more acoustic ones that use the setting to make music more intimate, but now and then, somebody just gets really SUPER excited about disrupting everyone's desks, and it's kind of amazing. I love this one.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 10:33 AM on December 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


My favorite part is the random occurrences of screensavers in the office staff shots as they've turned away from their workstations to observe the commotion.
posted by phong3d at 10:33 AM on December 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Everybody in that room hears Tiny Desks all the time -- there were five last week, including a free jazz ensemble and most of Polyphonic Spree -- and the only people who have desks in that room are people who work for NPR Music or who work for digital arts (like, for example, me), so we're pretty accustomed to the commotion.

Neeeevertheless, this was clearly a special amount of commotion. (I happened not to be there that day.)
posted by Linda_Holmes at 10:48 AM on December 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


If you have not yet seen it, Thrift Shop is a fun video, to match the fun song. I'd love to see Macklemore and Ryan Lewis live, but until then, this was a fun bit of them.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:59 AM on December 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've been watching this guy with interest as he slowly has been working his way up.. I've been wondering for several years what kind of hip-hop artist would break upwards and become the face, so to speak, of Northwest hip-hop since as a whole the scene been burbling underground without ever having a breakout star for what feels like decades.. Not TOO surprised it turned out to be Macklemore, could be better.. could be worse.. he's clearly talented, put out a single very topical to the moment that has caught fire, good for him.
posted by mediocre at 11:02 AM on December 18, 2012


could be better.. could be worse.

Who would be better? It's not too late. Name names!
posted by anotherpanacea at 11:10 AM on December 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Sir Mixalot is still the face of hip hop in the Northwest as far as I'm concerned. I'm not sure I accept Macklemore as a rapper although I love his songs. Maybe he's on the podium too much or maybe its the spoken word tone of voice. Elephant in the room: maybe I'm just racist against white rappers(I'm white). Maybe his braggadocio sounds fake. I don't know exactly.

I'm not surprised he's successful and I'm not surprised that his success is mainstream with NPR types. Good for him and if he manages to influence hip hop I think it'll be good for hip hop too.
posted by christhelongtimelurker at 11:27 AM on December 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thanks for sharing. I have a lot of respect for their work. Some of my favourite songs include Starting Over, Neon Cathedral and Otherside (Remix).
posted by livinglearning at 11:28 AM on December 18, 2012


What a coincidence! I was just showing Thrift Shop to some friends this morning.
posted by owtytrof at 11:59 AM on December 18, 2012


Who would be better? It's not too late. Name names!

Oh hell no, if I learned anything from the Dr. Dre thread a couple days ago it is that you never try to defend or call your favorite hip hop acts online. There is surely someone who disagrees, and will disagree until the day you die of a stressed induced heart attack while composing your 500th response to their missives..

Though if for nothing else then for longevity, I always hoped that Cool Nutz would get some propers. But he is much more then Underground Elder Statesman type, I guess..
posted by mediocre at 12:00 PM on December 18, 2012


I'm not sure I accept Macklemore as a rapper although I love his songs. Maybe he's on the podium too much or maybe its the spoken word tone of voice. Elephant in the room: maybe I'm just racist against white rappers(I'm white). Maybe his braggadocio sounds fake. I don't know exactly.

I totally agree. I don't disagree with what he says or his sentiments, but I still want to push his smug face down a flight of stairs.

The guy is talented, but after 20 years of seeing Prose + Concepts, The Ghetto Children, Black Anger / Bedroom Produkshunz, not to even mention Blue Scholars, Old Dominion, and even new acts like Kung Foo Grip (high school kids!), or Kingdom Crumb not get much exposure or traction, but now the "Face of Seattle Hip-Hop" is this middle-of-the-road sanctimonious milquetoast. Not really much to get excited about.

I'm not surprised he's successful and I'm not surprised that his success is mainstream with NPR types. Good for him and if he manages to influence hip hop I think it'll be good for hip hop too.

Yep. Totally agree. Nothing says 'hip-hop' like an acoustic appearance on NPR.

Again, I can't hate the guy too much, he's got talent, and I agree with what he says, and I'm really glad that people who can actually rap are getting some mainstream traction (like, say Kendrick Lamar), instead of ironic gimmicky crap like Kitty Pryde or Das Racist, and is counter to the mainstream trend of incoherent cough-syrup strip club anthems about how much your car costs (Yeezy/Weezy/Jeezy/etc), but he still sounds like reheated Atmosphere thats been cleaned up so it can be sold at the counter at Starbucks.

If you're interested in other seattle hip-hop, you should check out the excellent beetbak blog, specifically his seattle hip hop round-ups, which you can find here: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
disclaimer: its written by a friend of mine
posted by lkc at 12:14 PM on December 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


the mainstream trend of incoherent cough-syrup strip club anthems about how much your car costs (Yeezy/Weezy/Jeezy/etc)

I think you have your tendochronometer set incorrectly.. What I have seen trending in hip-hop lately is self effacing, emotive rap ala Drake.. but he'll always be the kid in a wheelchair on Degrassi to me.. A$AP Rocky, etc..
posted by mediocre at 12:27 PM on December 18, 2012


mediocre: Drake and Minaj are products of Lil Wayne. They both have some raw talent, but focus primarily on commercial success.
There is a lot of Rick Ross out there, too.

'trend' was the wrong word to use. 'mainstay' would have been better, but mainstream mainstay is a little too alliterative for me this early in the day.

A$AP Rocky is definitely in the cough syrup camp. Pretty much any rapper with a song that involves chanting 'swag' is, including some people I really like, like Ab-Soul and Danny Brown.
posted by lkc at 12:43 PM on December 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


.. are products of Lil Wayne

And Eminem is a product of Dr. Dre, mentor/protoge in the rap game doesn't necessarily mean they are of the same ilk. Hell, look at the diverse roster of artists/bands under the Odd Future brand for the latest evidence of that.

I only point this whole thing out because, as far as I have seen personally so YMMV of course, that bling/rims/sizzurp/choppednscrewed thing seems to have wholly given way to what I mentioned above. Of course, all these acts likely have a bragadoccio track or two in their ouvre. But that has less to do with their overall tendancies and more with wanting to produce specific tracks for club purposes.

Unrelated Re: Swag.. This is just me being an old man for the most part.. but when I started hearing the term being thrown around under its current definition I was a little confused. When I was growing up "swag" was the word for free promotional crap that any company gives away. Me and my friends used to attend the county fair in Eugene, OR growing up and have competitions for who would be able to gather the most swag from promotional booths. Whether we had any interest in The Christian Science Monitor or not.
posted by mediocre at 2:11 PM on December 18, 2012


Sir-mix-a-lot? Really? And Macklemore is, yes, white and blowing up right now. But: Same Love. If he can't keep producing he'll fade to the background quickly enough.

Blue Scholars have been the public face of Seattle hip-hop for the better part of a decade for two reasons. Because they're good/accessible/hip enough that when they do something it's a shareable event: "hey have you seen ----- yet?" (where ----- is for example Pho Life by Sabzi, or something much more powerful like No Rest for the Weary). And because they typify the stereotype of NW hip-hop (accessible and socially conscious), which identifies them as the go-to name.
posted by tychotesla at 7:34 PM on December 18, 2012


Macklemore has both those aspects too, but may or may not be missing the vital "will I recommend looking him up later to a friend when riding in their car two years from now" factor. AKA the "is the music absent its context actually good" question.
posted by tychotesla at 7:41 PM on December 18, 2012


Look, we all wanted Blue Scholars or Common Market to break big, but Macklemore did instead. We all wanted the Melvins or the Posies or Mudhoney to break big, too, but Nirvana did instead.

But the Melvins and the Posies and Mudhoney did end up getting a slice of the pie Nirvana brought home. And I think the same will happen with Macklemore's pie.
posted by dw at 7:13 AM on December 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


dw: Pearl Jam is the better analogy, I think. They wrote drively sentimental poems about school bullying and the feelings of the homeless, and found a lot of mainstream appeal through the rockstar-fronting of the pretty-boy singer.
posted by lkc at 3:07 PM on December 19, 2012


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