HomeMusicSingles Party: Macklemore and Ryan Lewis - 'Thrift Shop'

Singles Party: Macklemore and Ryan Lewis – ‘Thrift Shop’

the gang pops some tags…


It’s no secret that yours truly (Bill Bodkin) is the main ‘curator’ of The Singles Party, choosing the songs we review each week. Usually I’m pretty savvy about the music scene, but when the ball dropped on 2013, I literally had no clue who Macklemore and Ryan Lewis were.

I first heard about the duo’s name when The Skate & Surf Festival, which is being held in Freehold, New Jersey on May 18th and 19th, announced them as headliners. Then my wife, one Saturday morning, asked me ‘Hey, have you heard ‘Thrift Shop’ yet? I think you’ll like it.’ Within two hours the song was being played on our car radio and since then, we can’t escape this song. It’s one of the biggest independent hit singles in forever and the duo has become the darling of major media — including multiple appearances on Ellen.

So the gang at Singles Party took this inescapable to the mat — do we love it, do we hate it, do is it make us want to pop some tags?

Lauren Stern: My first response to Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ “Thrift Shop” featuring Wanz: “This is fucking awesome.”

Bad pun, I know but I’m not ashamed that I’m hooked. Both the song itself and the video itself are brilliant. I mean, from the moment Macklemore rolled up in that beautiful animal print fur coat to the moment where he was rocking out in the Batman onezie, I was memorized. I don’t think I will ever look at Goodwill the same again.


I’m calling this right now and you heard it on Pop-break.com first: Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ “Thrift Shop” featuring Wanz will be the hottest “viral song” of 2013. This is going to blow up just as fast as “Gangnam Style,” guys. You just watch. Verdict: Add to playlist, IMMEDIATELY.

Brent Johnson: It’s not every day when a pop artist finds a topic to write about that isn’t love, heartbreak, war, or peace. And it’s about time someone poked fun at the slippery slope of thrift shopping — where everything costs $2, but you have no clue about the person who last wore the pair of pants you’re set to purchase. So kudos to Macklemore & Lewis for ‘Thrift Shop’ — a funny, catchy ode to wearing “your granddad’s clothes” and looking incredible. Double kudos for a fantastic horn-riff hook. But let’s dock some points for referencing male genitalia and reminding us about R. Kelly’s alleged bedroom activities in the span of 30 seconds. And that fantastic horn riff? Repeating it 52 times doesn’t make it any better. All in all, a (largely) clever novelty hit — but will anyone really want to listen to this over and over a decade from now? Verdict: One and Done.

Kelly Gonsalves: Is this even a question? There shouldn’t even need to be a panel of discussion on this song other than to watch a bunch of music critics put their tails between their legs and bow down.

“Thrift Shop” was one of the most addicting beats of 2012, easily recognizable and too addicting for its own good. It might actually be physically impossible to not start slapping air once that chorus comes on. The only critique in sight would be that of the holier-than-thou indie music enthusiast complaining about conformation to trashy radio rap about da bling-bling and dem “big cocks.”

But taking a few steps back and removing the stick from one’s ass allows one to realize that Macklemore and Ryan Lewis have done the very opposite with this masterpiece. “Thrift Shop” is the Sonnet 130 in a world of Petrarchan poetry – that is, an over-the-top satire making sly jabs at the superficiality of expensive brand names and essentially making fun of the culture of its own genre of music. The sass is most apparent in the second verse, when Macklemore directly attacks Gucci consumers with lines like “that shirt’s hella dough, and having the same one as six other people in this club is a hella don’t.” Clever, cute, and brutal. With spot-on lyrics, a killer beat, and a message that’s part parody and part punch, there’s very little room for ignorant criticism. “Thrift Shop” is a winner, hands down. Final Verdict: Add to playlist.

Joe Zorzi: “Thrift Shop” seems to have taken over the radio out of nowhere and I couldn’t be happier. The beat has a killer groove and it’s almost impossible to get the hook out of your head. But on top of that, Macklemore is bringing some anti-consumerist ideas to a genre that is all about having the hottest and most expensive items. It’s about time someone made a hit going against the grain. Ten years ago you would’ve never heard a song like this go number one. This is an example of the internet creating so much hype that the pop world had to listen (just like “Gangnam Style” did a few months back). I’ve only heard great things about Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ most recent album The Heist and I truly hope they can keep doing big things in the music world. Verdict: Add to the Playlist.

Jason Kundrath: When I hear a track like “Thrift Shop” from Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, I realize I don’t listen to enough rap. On top of Lewis’ vintage production – which recalls some of the more inventive early 90’s hip hop – Macklemore spins a thread about threads. And it’s entertaining from start to finish. This Seattle rapper has a very fresh flow: it’s fast, fun, smart, and easy to understand. On other tracks, this poet gets heavy and emotional – about gay rights on “Same Love” and drug deaths on “Otherside” – but here (besides a general theme of anti-consumerism) he’s just cracking wise about looking like a pimp on a thrift shop budget. And he rhymes “keyboard” with “knee board.” So yeah. Add it. Verdict: Add to the Playlist.

Bill Bodkin: “Thrift Shop” is one of the most infectious songs in the past, I can’t even tell you how long it’s been since I’ve heard a single that’s this enjoyable. The beat is such a throwback to the days of the jazz-fueled hip-hop of the earl 90s. The lyrical mircales Macklemore spits are just so damn good, his hustle and flow is so smooth and so smart alecky, that he makes the lyrics an important part of the song, which prevents “Thrift Shop” from being about the beat. This is a song that will live a long, long time in the history of pop and hip-hop. It’ll become that “Oh Shit” throwback club jam and if the duo of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis never have another hit, they’ll never be forgotten. Verdict: Add to the Playlist.

Final Verdict: Even the lone “one and done” still sung the praises of this song. It’s a definite must-add to your playlist.

Pop-Break Staff
Pop-Break Staffhttps://thepopbreak.com
Founded in September 2009, The Pop Break is a digital pop culture magazine that covers film, music, television, video games, books and comics books and professional wrestling.


  1. Funny, witty and in your face with a video you can’t take your eyes off of (don’t deny). Can’t you picture yourself listening to this while chilling with your second margarita rocks in your hand?

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