Macklemore: A Game Changer

“That guy that sings ‘Thrift Shop’?”

macklemore

Macklemore, ladies and gents, is on the up and up. He is a rapper that is changing the entire music industry, so get on board now before you have to admit that you were a ‘late adopter’.

But let’s start from the beginning.

In the past few months, Macklemore has seen an insane rise in popularity due to his hit song “Thrift Shop.”

The single has sold more than 5. Million. Copies. That’s a hella-big number. (What’s that even called? Penta-Platinum?) It has also allowed Macklemore to break a huge record. Two days ago it hit its 12th week as the #1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 Hip Hop/R&B chart. According to the Billboard website:

“DJ Khaled’s “I’m On One,” featuring Drake, Rick Ross and Lil Wayne, previously held the record with 11 weeks in 2011 and is the only other rap song to post double-digit weeks at the top.”

“But,” you ask, “is he just going to be a one-hit-wonder?”

No. No. No.

He and his creative partner, Ryan Lewis, released an entire album entitled “The Heist” that has hit after hit. (Listen to it in its entirety here. It’s worth it.) The majority of the songs have much more poignant themes, ranging from Macklemore’s recovery from addiction (to ‘Lean’ or ‘Sizzurp’ as some people Lil’ Wayne call it), homophobia and gay rights, gang violence, as well as other controversial topics. His voice is strong and his lyrics stronger.

And what’s even more incredible, they released this album sans a record label. Why? They wanted to be able to retain complete creative control which they found to be in question every time they met with a recording company. It’s not that record labels didn’t want them, they very much did, it’s that they knew they could do it on their own.

In a world where artists (or really anyone who wants to) can promote their work using social media (even Myspace is making a  comeback), will the need for professional record labels with marketing teams continue to be necessary? Highly doubtful. The music industry is going to need an overhaul to keep up. It has been far too slow in making adjustments to mp3s, iTunes, etc. and is suffering greatly because of it.

Maybe Macklemore is the exception to the rule, but regardless, he’s the man.

And he tweets funny things like this:

tweet

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