Macklemore and Ryan Lewis released their sophomore album The Unruly Mess I’ve Made on February 26 after a four year hiatus since their debut album The Heist.
On this album, Macklemore is more critical than on his debut album and that might push a lot of his fans away. In 2013, “Thrift Shop” was on the radios and topping charts but that Macklemore doesn’t show up often on the record. Being famous has given Macklemore new insight and he isn’t sure if he fits in or not in hip-hop. There is a lot of dialogue on this album and it is a great way to start a conversation about race and hip-hop.
“It seems like we’re more concerned with being called racist than we actually are with racism.”
On “White Privilege II,” Macklemore raps “It seems like we’re more concerned with being called racist than we actually are with racism.” That might anger a lot of people listening to Macklemore. They expect more songs like “Thrift Shop” and “Downtown” but Macklemore has shown throughout his career that he cares about the bigger picture and his place in hip-hop. Many other rappers won’t ask these questions which makes an album like this great.
The one big criticism of TUMIM is that is has songs that are a distraction from the conversation of race and drugs that Macklemore tries to have on this album. Some of the songs come off as corny and hard to listen to. “Thrift Shop” made Macklemore a global star and he tries to recapture that essence but misses on this album.
Nonetheless, the album is great overall. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis made a album that hip-hop will appreciate over time. It takes guts to risk everything in order to get your message across. Macklemore may lose a lot of fans and his album sales won’t be the same as they were four years ago but Macklemore is an independent rapper and he doesn’t have to sell a certain amount of albums to please his bosses.
This album gets three and a half stars out of five. Nobody could have expected Macklemore and Ryan Lewis to make a political and conscious album. With all the protests and race issues popping up, this album captures the past few years well and not many rappers could have executed this as well as Macklemore does.