The song at #89 on my list of 100 Best Songs of the 2010s is “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. The first time I heard this song I hated it, but after a couple listens, damn if it didn’t hook me in with it’s irresistible hip hop beat and hilarious lyrics. Now it’s a guilty pleasure! With added vocals by rapper Wanz, Macklemore (born Ben Haggerty) freestyles about saving money by buying cool second hand shit at a thrift shop, rather than overpaying for expensive status symbols like a lot of rappers: “I hit the party and they stop in that motherfucker. They be like, ‘Oh, that Gucci. That’s hella tight.’ I’m like, ‘Yo, that’s fifty dollars for a T-shirt.’ Limited edition, let’s do some simple addition. Fifty dollars for a T-shirt – that’s just some ignorant bitch. Shit. I call that getting swindled and pimped. Shit. I call that getting tricked by a business.”
As indicated in the preceding lyrics, the song is filled with explicit language as well as a couple of rather obscene inferences: “Probably shoulda washed this, smells like R. Kelly’s sheets – Pissss” or when he sings about buying a ‘skeet blanket’, which is slang for a blanket a man uses to jack off into. I think Macklemore gets away with this because of his strong likeability, humor and charisma.
The fourth single from their debut album The Heist, “Thrift Shop” was a massive worldwide hit, reaching #1 not only in the U.S, but also the UK, Ireland, Canada, France, Denmark, Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand. The song was named by Billboard as the #1 song of 2013. The hilarious video, which has been viewed nearly 1.5 billion times, was filmed at several thrift shops in Macklemore’s home town of Seattle.