Macklemore & Ryan Lewis took the music world by storm in 2012 with the release of their breakout album The Heist. Spawning the hit singles "Thrift Shop," "Can't Hold Us" and "Same Love," the LP went on to win the Best Rap Album award at the 2014 Grammys, causing plenty of guilt for Macklemore (who beat Kendrick Lamar's good kid, M.A.A.D. City) and a rift in the music industry.
So, where did Macklemore & Ryan Lewis have to go from there? The answer is This Unruly Mess I've Made, which is a bit of a make-up album for Macklemore as he tries to deal with the wake of his impact on rap, pop music and his whiteness in a black community as racial tensions meet new highs in modern America.
It's a hefty order for Ben Haggerty, and it's not one he fulfills all of the time. While his honesty is refreshing and necessary, at times his genuine nature can be a little too much.
After textgate, do we really need another Macklemore apology for his win in 2014? Is "White Privilege II" causing more problems than it's solving? How do singles like "Downtown" mesh with serious tracks like "Kevin?" These are questions the Music Times team looked to unpack in our new segment, Junk Mail Live!, where staff members Carolyn Menyes, Ryan Middleton and Jon Niles discuss and attempt to unpack this new album.