Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

  • Music
  • Rap, hip hop and R&B
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Seattle's biggest rapper/producer duo – not that there's much competition – visit the UK once again. Their debut album was a surprise hit in 2012, topping the iTunes chart out of nowhere, and they scored a UK Number One with single 'Thrift Shop'. They're socially conscious, too – their single 'Same Love' criticised opposition to gay marriage in Washington state.

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Caitlin White

Epic in a way that not many other acts are, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis bring together the old and the young, the hip-hop and the hipster, the die hards and the one-hit wonders for one of the greatest shows Brixton Academy has seen for a while. Despite waiting a while for them to appear on stage, M&RL start on a high with the opener for their No.1 hit album 'The Heist', 10,000 Hours. Bounding seamlessly through little-known marvel 'Crew Cuts' the show reaches epic heights with soon-to-be classic 'Thrift Shop'. If you were mistaken in thinking that the show had built to it's climax in just 3 songs you'd be wrong as 'Can't Hold Us' lights the crowd on fire, making everyone forget for a moment who they're with and what they look like and what they're doing 2 days from now. It's the sort of unifying song you'd expect on the stage at a major festival or maximum-capacity arena and it's clear that this is where this band is heading. Other highlights include the brilliant 'Same Love', which holds a magnifying glass to the struggle for civil rights and marriage equality going on across the world and the fantastic 'Wings', a message for all of us not to be defined by the shoes we wear. But for me, it was the dark and almost soulful quality of M&RL's 'Otherside' that was the highlight of the night. As the lights go down and the music fades away, it's just Ben Haggerty and his microphone, telling the crowd a story of drug abuse and personal failure that obviously hits close to home but also resonates across the room. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis are at their best when telling stories about their lives, sometimes unique but nearly always universal, it's this ability to connect 5 thousand people in an arena across the Atlantic Ocean that has made them one of the most exciting acts to come from America in the past 2 years.