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Macklemore and Ryan Lewis “The VS. EP” Review

Album, Released 2009 Mainstream rapper spins deep tunes before hitting mainstream

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In 2012, Ben Haggerty, better-known as Macklemore, and Ryan Lewis collaborated to release “The Heist,” an album featuring singles such as “Thrift Shop,” “Same Love,” and “Can’t Hold Us.” The album, composed of a sound combining pop, upbeat rhythm and deep issues relating to consumerism and gay rights, maintains itself as a strong successor for their lesser-known album, “The VS. EP.”

During the production of “The V.S. EP,” Lewis and Haggerty found new influences and addressed issues pertaining to religion, life and drug abuse, an abuse that Haggerty is no stranger to. “The Heist” may be better-known, but the rhythms and melodies of “The VS. EP” contends with it for the title of superior album.

“The VS. EP” does not fail to reach new calibers of complexity and emotional expression by drawing in details of Haggerty’s life that many listeners relate to. “The Heist” found more fame and success, but “The VS. EP” expresses the stories of every human who has struggled, fallen and risen again. It is this depth that sets the albums apart: it’s an expression of humanity’s trials.

“The VS. EP” features “Otherside” and “The End,” both melodic roller coasters that sail through the struggles of turning from man to the bottle/pill and trying to find the way back home. “Irish Celebration” commemorates Haggerty’s heritage as an Irishman while “Vipassana” connects to life, death and religion.

With the comparisons set, I find “The VS. EP” to hold more memorable and commendable qualities than “The Heist;” however, both albums are worth the money and time. They deliver music as chapters in human existence in relatable, understandable ways; something today’s generations would benefit listening to.

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Macklemore and Ryan Lewis “The VS. EP” Review