Four years after the release of The Heist, which was nominated for Album of the Year at the Grammy’s, Macklemore emerged back into the spotlight with the release of his sophomore album This Unruly Mess I’ve Made on Feb. 26.
This Unruly Mess I’ve Made debuted at number four on the Billboard 200 and number two on iTunes, proving that self-produced albums can still bring an artist immense success. Many artists are choosing to leave popular labels and self produce in an effort to ensure the sincerity of their work.
Staying true to his character, the artist discusses the complications that come with fame, as well as prominent social issues. “Light Tunnels” opens the album on a strong note, discussing the superficiality of award shows and the celebrities that attend them. “White Privilege II” acts as a continuation to the story “A Wake” tells about racial discrimination and shootings. The rapper shares the internal struggle he faces when attempting to assist African- Americans in their fight for complete equality. Macklemore does what others refuse to, in that he is not afraid to share every woe of his conscious and his most complete honesty. He challenges his fans to not only speak up, but take action to improve conditions for all.
He avoids a totally bleak theme by including a tribute to his daughter Sloane. “Growing Up” featuring Ed Sheeran is heart warming, and shows that despite past demons, Macklemore intends to care for his daughter and improve himself for her benefit. Ed Sheeran’s solo carries the emotion of the song and leaves all listeners with chills.
The dynamic duo of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis has once again created an album that is relevant and riveting. Although most don’t regard Macklemore as the typical rapper, he proves that music has no limitations, and should not be confined to specific genres.