Macklemore and Ryan Lewis feat. Wanz – Thrift Shop

First Hit #1: February 2, 2013

Never explain the joke. At one point in Thrift Shop there is a line about “Smelling like R. Kelly’s sheets.” That’s actually not a bad line, considering the rather outre sexual history of R. Kelly. But then immediately after there’s someone saying “pisssssssss” with no music behind it, just in case you didn’t get the reference, and it kills the line. It’s not funny because it assumes you don’t get it, and once you include an explanation it just isn’t funny.

That’s not the only problem with Thrift Shop, a song about buying out of style clothes for cheap. The lyrics could have done with another pass, especially the chorus which starts really well and then you get to “fucking awesome” which is not the most musical of phrases. It will have some clever lines about thrift song finds and fashion, but then it’ll throw in something really awkward and poorly phrased – there’s a Gucci t-shirt line that’s a major clunker surrounded by some lyrics that actually flow well, and it seems like it was just in there until he could figure out a better way to link the thoughts. It feels like a lark, a last minute bit of silly improvisation that somehow became a hit.

Of course, it has a highly amusing video and this was immediately after Billboard incorporated Youtube into their calculations. That certainly didn’t hurt it.

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One Response to Macklemore and Ryan Lewis feat. Wanz – Thrift Shop

  1. musicosity1 says:

    I find myself in another Tupac situation, inasmuch as this is a song I’ve heard about for a while but not actually heard until now, so I approach it fresh sonically, yet with the awareness that it’s supposed to be a Big Deal. Also, I’m not watching the video. Strictly on its musical merits, this is not the song I would have selected to represent Hip Hop’s return to #1 (let alone two rap Grammies), and I suspect it will rapidly become a Vanilla Ice style kitsch hit. Boy, that horn sample is annoying the first time but becomes unbearable in ostinato. I guess the video was a big hit?

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