April 5, 2013 - The good people at allhiphop.com report that talented guys and generally cool dudes Macklemore & Ryan Lewis have set a record for being at #1 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop (aka Billboard's Black Attack Chart) for 12 consecutive weeks with the insanely catchy "Thrift Shop". In doing so they knocked out previous champion and person I've never even heard of DJ Khaled and his song "I'm On One" that featured Rick Ross, Drake and Lil' Wayne. I've never heard this song and looking at the guests on the track, it's probably best that I haven't heard it. However, I HAVE heard "Thrift Shop" many, many times and it's clearly awesome. In fact, now matter how many times I listen to it the song is still fucking awesome! Take a break and listen to it again right now. (Linking that video just now I see that this shit is up to nearly a quarter BILLION views. Awesome.)
One reason this news is so awesome is that Macklemore & Ryan Lewis remain independent artists. (And on his recent Nerdist appearance, Macklemore seemed to have plans of changing that.) They have proven that mega-success, including radio-play, is possible without label backing in this brave new world of media we currently reside in. Sure, bands like Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails have experimented with free/pay-what-you-want formats, but those bands were already well-established draws with large fan-bases willing to support an artist that they already knew and loved. "Thrift Shop" setting this record is a testament to a new world - one where word-of-mouth alone can push quality work the forefront of our collective media consciousness without having to be fed millions of dollars by out of touch greedheads. Obviously left-field hits have sprung up before, but very few of those flare-ups seem to manage to escape the teeth of the beast.
Even more awesome is that this all happened with a song about something out of the ordinary. Really, thrift shopping? It's such a quiet, respectable little thing - digging around a musty old store, looking through other peoples' left-overs for fun, interesting shit. Anything outside of the normal love songs and corporate-approved lower-middle-class life that breaks through into the mainstream consciousness is something I can support - especially when that piece of art is extolling the virtues of frugality and recycling.
Extra props to Ryan Lewis for his incredible production on the track. Really, as good as the words are here, that song worms its way into you with the hook. My lawd, that horn-line is pure swag.
Also: Please take the time eye-hump hese photos I took of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis at Rifflandia 2012.