Seattle hip hop duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis released their second collaborative studio album, This Unruly Mess I've Made, containing 13 songs and running for a lengthy 57 minutes. Stream it above via Spotify.
The pair consists of rapper Ben Haggerty, under his artist name Macklemore, and record producer Ryan Lewis. Their first album together, The Heist, came out on October 9, 2012, consisting of their breakthrough singles "Thrift Shop" and "Can't Hold Us." Following the the Grammy-award winning album is no easy task, but they managed to pull together a solid record.
The opening track, "Light Tunnels" (ft Mike Slap) tells an intense story about an award show through theatrical strings and suspenseful build ups. The lively "Downtown" follows with a funky bass line, bouncing melodies, and a booming chorus. The featured artists are old school hip hop legends Kool Moe Dee, Melle Mel, and Grandmaster Caz, with vocalist Eric Nally on the chorus.
Another highlight is "Growing Up," which slows things down with touching lyrics, somber pianos, and laid-back beats. The song is complete with Ed Sheeran's powerful vocals on the chorus. This is followed by "Kevin," another emotional tune that tackles Macklemore's addiction to prescription drugs.
The whimsical, food loving "Let's Eat (feat. XP)" talks about the familiar struggle of trying to diet, but shamelessly eating instead. The album ends on a serious, but hopeful note with "White Privilege II" which is, as stated on the website released with the song, "the outcome of an ongoing dialogue with musicians, activists, and teachers within our community in Seattle and beyond."
"This Unruly Mess I've Made" is a fitting title. The album is messy and might have been better off without more abrasive songs like "Brad Pitt's Cousin" and "Dance Off." But overall, it came together as a collection of wild, hilarious, and emotional tunes.
Songs we recommend are "Light Tunnels," "Downtown," the gritty "Buckshot" (featuring a couple more legends: KRS-One and DJ Premiere), "Growing Up," "Kevin," "St Ides," "Need To Know" (featuring Chance The Rapper), "Let's Eat," and "White Privilege II."
Pick up The Unruly Mess I've Made on Amazon. You can also stream it above on Spotify.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis just announced an extended tour for later this year. Check out Macklemore's Zumic artist page for his latest music, news, and tour dates.