’12 Underrated Albums: #1 Macklemore & Ryan Lewis The Heist


The Heist is a fitting title for Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ official debut. Seemingly in broad daylight, hip-hop’s independent contractors infiltrated Main Street, made their demands, and robbed critics blind with big budget hits and honest transparency. Anchored entirely by Ryan Lewis’ sonic boom, Macklemore begins their caper with “Ten Thousand Hours” and follows up with the irresistible, “Can’t Hold Us”. He spills his guts on cuts like “Neon Cathedral”, “Make The Money”, “Starting Over”) but still manages to not take himself too seriously on “Thrift Shop”. As far as social commentary goes, he handles controversy with “Same Love” while questioning materialism on the Nike-inspired “Wing$”. As one of game’s most sought after free agents, Mack knows his self worth. And on the album’s crown jewel “Jimmy Iovine”, he imagines a meeting with a greedy label bigwig. Macklemore and Ryan got what they came for. Luckily, we all got to bear witness.

Previously: #5 Ab-Soul Control System l #4 Curren$y The Stoned Immaculate l #3 DJ Khaled Kiss The Ring l #2 Killer Mike R.A.P. Music

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  • Slim Baller

    I’m sorry but I cannot agree with this album was #trash

    • B.Dot

      I can only respect your opinion if you actually listened.

  • JustMyOpinion

    B.Dot…….ahhhh nothing I am not even going to waste my time.

  • M.T

    The Thrift Shop was a good song. might give this album a full listen.

    • B.Dot


      I can respect that. I’d rather a person say, “i didn’t listen” than just jump outta the window and say dumb shit without giving it a shot

  • JustMyOpinion

    No….B.Dot you missing my point. See I respect the culture of Hip-Hop and everything about it. Therefore, I respect what you guys work so effortlessly and almost thankless doing at RR.

    But, the one thing I keep saying is you must maintain some sort of objectivity. Imagine, for a moment if you will, your local newscaster telling you every week about the best place to get a haircut. And, then imagine he is part owner(worker) of that barbershop. See my point. Journalism 101.

    Plus, I can’t get with this guy look. I feel like its a mockery. #Sorry

    • B.Dot


      The problem is that folks pay attention to what they want.

      I, like everyone else, have artists they like. But everyone gets it. Jay-Z’s my favorite, but do i like everything he puts out? Nope. In fact, I’ve even told him mano y mano.

  • Batman

    Ayyyyy B. Dot..got pick, however I dont think it deserves #1, it is deff top 5. This was a good album top to bottom!! Congrats to them for actually selling a good amount of albums too, Kudos to the pick

  • mac DIESEL

    …….OF COURSE!!!! HA!!!!


  • Chris

    To clarify, are you saying this album is better than Killer Mike’s? Or just that it’s more underrated?

    • B.Dot

      @Chris those are apples and orange albums. But Im saying its more underrated.

  • Been following theses since 2009 with their mixtape and to finally see them being recognized worldwide is just awesome. Totally cosign this B.Dot. Mack & Ryan require open-minded ears.

  • Itsfarfromover1

    Mackelmore & Ryan Lewis had the most well balanced and best albums out this year. Maybe he wears fur to get some attention but his bars, concept and delivery are no joke

  • CaliSteppin

    Aight ill download it later on and listen to it in its entirety. Im not going to lie i havent listened to it at all if its dope ill buy it

    • B.Dot

      Salute @CaliSteppin. I wish more people were honest about hearing a project. pre-hate is at an all time high

  • Nathanial Hörnblowér

    Takes me back to when hip-hop meant an MC and a DJ. There’s something so simplistically complicated about their sound. If powerful lyrics and original composition aren’t your thing then skip this album, just pop a molly and go sweat somewhere bang bang.

  • Kenny’s Dominos

    ” If powerful lyrics and original composition aren’t your thing then skip this album, just pop a molly and go sweat somewhere bang bang.”


  • Devante

    B.Dot just know that you can post that Earth is the greatest planet ever and these dorks will find a reason to disagree lol

    • B.Dot

      @Devante LMAO

  • Rechee

    Completely agree.

  • ECU

    The whole album blew me away n yes he does deserve more credit for it

  • wait…b.dot, did you listen to the whole chief keef album before you went on a tirade? or did you just hear a couple songs and dismiss it?

  • Black Shady


  • Yeezus Christ

    will never listen to this garbage, faggot music right here

  • CaliSteppin

    Ay this shit is pretty dope so far its different but it has my interest

  • craddyshaq

    If you’re looking for a bunch of banger songs… don’t listen.. its actual music.. by far the most underrated album of the year

  • JustMyOpinion

    @ B.Dot….Okay *shrug shoulders* Alright I am about to go listen to one of their songs.

    Directed to the general audience: “pre-hate”? In what decade did “I don’t like” become “hate”?

  • Underated album was jesus peice..not number one but it should have been on the list

  • DJ Semtex’s Prothsetic

    b.dot your corny bruh in that macklemore video the other day

  • Andrew

    @Yeezus Christ replace that f-word with an n-word and get an idea of how you’re being viewed for making such an ignorant statement.

  • JustMyOpinion

    ^ Okay, listened to 3 songs. We’ll agree to disagree.

  • Real talk. Claps hands

    I know Ben and Ryan from their myspace days. They have Ben consistent as fuck when it comes to Art.

    I just don’t know how it’s UNDER RATED when it debuted so high on the charts and clearly has taken over billboard/iTunes charts.

    Real talk. HIP HOP 101 back in the day performing with Ricky Pharoe

    You can say what you want but i know the funk of which I speak.

    Thanks for putting Seattle on a pedestal. WE DESERVE IT

  • DJ Semtex’s Prothsetic

    cosign @ Brandon lol

  • Jb

    Please kill yo self for saying this is underrated thanx

  • Real talk. Claps hands

    With that song for gay pride and an Ellen show performance is more like under appreciated than under rates. But with controversy and criticism comes great fine tuning for their next project. These guys aren’t a one hit wonder.

  • Liiife

    Listened to the full album and have to say its not very good, nor does it mean much.

  • Cemal

    ‘underrated’ by definition means, that the album didn’t get the sales it deserved, but how can you say that when these two had the number 1 in the us, INDE-FUCKING-PENDTLY. Jesus Piece is underrated, cause it didn’t get the sales it deserves, but mack and ryan are wiping their ass with money. Great album, i loved it, but underrated? Get the fuck outta here

  • Pete Frank

    Their music brings a new perspective of hip hop, and you fools are to ignorant to try something other than the greats. Great choice @B.Dot, album in phenomenal, dont understand why these kids are bitchin.

  • Farrakhan Changed My Life

    Their whole fan base consist from crackas #fact

  • It’s the roc

    I’m trying to figure out how an album that debuted at #2 on the charts is underrated. Are you saying it should have went Gold first week or something B.Dot? I liked this list, but I think the category is a bit ambiguous.

  • craddyshaq

    So, if a whole fan base consists of “crackas” then they aren’t relevant… so white people can’t like rap music??? lol, lets talk about an ignorant statement.. shit, I guess I can’t listen to much because most rappers fan base is n*****s… you see how ignorant that sounds?

  • Beaming

    Listen I know A lot of ppl are clue less about who these guys are but this album was not underrated it sold an absurd amount of records

  • Nathaniel

    “their whole fan base consist from crackas #fact”

    you know… there is something to look at in that statement, even if it is offensive as hell, lol. i’m sure the overwhelming majority of Mack & Ryan’s fanbase (people who bootlegged, pay attention to, and/or bought their album) is white… which @craddyshaq doesn’t make them “irrelevant” per say, but it does more or less make them ghosts to hip hop culture, even though they make rap music. because the people who create, mold, drive, influence, and dictate the culture that they borrowed from to even make their music barely know they exist. in some way, that does make them irrelevant.

    and it’s also why, even though they had a #1 album independent, (i think have a platinum single, now) and made hella money, B. Dot called them “underrated.” what he means is “underrated to Black culture” which really IS hip hop culture itself. …see @Cemal’s comment.

  • Da Business

    I ain’t gonna front B.Dot,

    U put me on to this lp and I was impressed.

    I gotta say tho, Schoolboy Q’s lp was hella dope and should be on the list.

    Imma go checkout that Curren$y joint but, I have to disagree w/ the Khaled pick. Outside of maybe 4

    joints, KTR is trash IMO.

  • track 1: the beat is tinny, the snare is too small, and the hook is almost off beat- lowlight: too long
    track 2: piano riff is cartoonish, song is blah- highlight: the guy on the hook has a rich voice
    track 3: the horn sample is good, bass is festive- highlight: awesome ad-libs
    track 4: melody is corny. sounds like an Animal Collective parody- lowlight: Mack tryna be deep
    track 5: nice minimal but powerful track- highlight: another great rich voice on the hook
    track 6: so far 4/6 songs are based around a piano melody and it’s starting to sound the same
    track 7: this interpolates R.Kelly’s when a womans fed up kinda distracting. he’s whining on this
    track 8: surprise. another piano. sounds like an HP commercial. highlight: nobody rapped
    track 9: song is ok. kinda slow but solid indeed.
    track 10: audio vomit. total chaos
    track 11: i feel his story but he’s trying too hard with the kids singing. very obvious. and its not good
    track 12: the hook is GOOD on this one. he got good singers on deck! highlight: drum breaks
    track 13: that beat is just fucking awful. got dammit man. couldn’t finish this one
    track 14: this song is like a scene in Twilight where they’re trying to look angry but they’re just flaring their nostrils
    track 15: real good bass on this one. that irish pub chorus is mad corny. he’s obviously reaching

    Overall there’s some good effort but not a lot of replay value on this album. There’s nothing special about Macklemore’s voice and his delivery stays the same even when the subject matter changes which makes him seem more monotone than he is. He comes off more like a spoken word poet over beats than a rapper. I’m wondering why the songs are so long considering that the concepts aren’t fully realized. The whole album sounds like the end of a Coen Brothers movie. Not to mention all the snares are softer than i prefer. I may be wrong, but it seems like they had the marketing plan before they wrote the album. Nothing wrong with that but it’s evident… brushstrokes

  • jimmy jimmy

    ^ so basically the “Thrift shop” song is the highlight of the whole album? alright…maybe ONE day i’ll give the album a listen, but right now …. not comletely interested

  • areal1

    I can’t believe I fell for the hype and listened 2 this shit these dudes is garbage Bdot knocc it the fucc off u just tryin 2 be different u dont really like this shit u can’t

  • I did not listen to it, I did listen to “Thrift Shop” and I like the song but something about his image/way he looks bothers me and I am white. But if you say it is the most underrated ill buy it and give it a chance.

  • it’s the roc

    @ adrian

    Gotta give you snaps for actually justifying your opinion and breaking it down like that, I know B.Dot went back and listened again after reading that

  • KillaK

    Amazing album. Very lyrical and he actually talks about real shit unlike some other rappers out there…

  • Catalyst

    Last year it wus Yelawolf, and rightly so, The Heist wus outstanding! Prolly one of the best albums I’ve heard! It’s different n amazing in it’s own way. But what I do not agree is the fact that it wus underrated.
    Thrift Shop is a top ten, Same Love hot huge amount of attention, the album sold 70K and debuted at 2 (the sales were higher than Tyga’s Careless World, nd he released it signed through YMCMB, B.o.B sold around these numbers too!) I don’t think it is underrated, it’s got the respect and attention it deserved, I personally would say Tyga (except rack city, his album wus good and high profiled guests and producers, That is underrated), and B.o.B had underrated albums, people keep sayin stuff, but they like pop, cut the ‘Real Hip-Hop’ drama, he had good songs in there, it wus an enjoyable listen. Everybody likes Nas or Kendrick or the old school hip hop, I’d prefer that myself personally, but then errybody also listens to these songs and albums.

  • NEM

    People hatin’ on this are just ignorant.
    One of the realest in the game right now. His social commentary is just unmatched in the mainstream. Rick Ross, 50 cent, Jay-Z, Eminem, Kanye where u at?
    Stay ignorant, though, it’s your loss.

  • Beezy

    I respect Rap Radar and what you guys do, but B. Dot is showing great bias here. It’s like he’s using his position on this site, which is supposed to “document the culture,” to push these guys’ agenda. It’s obvious that he’s good friends with them (per his YouTube rant at their show saying “i told you so” and that he doesn’t “give a fuck” what people think) and seems to have some sort of stake in them doing well, whether it be monetarily or to selfishly influence the culture and, thus, fancy himself a tastemaker. Either way, he’s coming off like Benzino at The Source when The Made Men albums kept getting high marks. See what that did or their brand?

    I’m not saying these guys are garbage (I think they’re talented, but a little alternative for my taste), but it makes people reeeaaaallll skeptical of B. Dot’s journalistic integrity and objectivity to be this reactive and emotional when people disagree and call him out for being biased. It’s like he takes criticism of Macklemore, specifically, personal. I also noticed that when a Macklemore track he picked out didn’t go over so well on Shade 45’s All Out Show. I doubt he’s as passionate about readers/listeners criticizing other artists. It’s cool to introduce readers to new artists if you’re a journalist, but to force it down their throats isn’t a good look. You guys are better than that. Cop The Heist on iTunes.

    • B.Dot


      LOL ur claim is hilarious.

      I guess if an artist blows and I have a connection to their music early, it’s to support some some kind of “agenda”. I think maybe i SHOULD get into artist management if that’s how u perceive things. God bless you.

  • NEM

    Well, I think it certainly is justifed to say that “Macklemore” is underrated in the hip-hop community. That’s no understatement. He’s a very lyrical & talented dude that makes it without a label.
    What SHOULD concern people though, is the constant praise that MMG is getting. “Ross Radar”, or how was it?

  • d’evill

    i knew this was b dot’s list haha. i don’t understand how this guy sold so many records.

    oh yeah, he’s white, that explains it

    b dot is an industry dick rider who’s opinion i don’t respect.

  • 5 years ago XXL fired Elliott Wilson for to much dicksucking and he later had throat problems for swallowing too much sperm

    @Beezy said it best Elliott has MMG and B.Dot has these guys always promoting them and talking about them and then puts it in the no 1 post like its better than everything else these guys are not journalists just bloggers who get paid to promote things smh

  • conflicto

    @ B.Dot
    well, ok you support these guys. i love their album too, but, i guess they’ve earned a lot of attention already (Thrift Shop) being 2 on itunes now. their album did good numbers, i mean slaughterhouse did less numbers than them!!. The problem is you callin it underrated, i think it should be more like in a list of top ten or top 5 albums, it ain’t underrated, YELAWOLF had a legit underrated album. i think except the usual criticism, errybody’s loved their work, they wudda never had a top 10 if their album ‘was’ underrated, it never wudda done decent numers too! come on, it did more numbers than Tyga(signed artist, his album i think, wus solid, except ‘Rack City’ lol, had good features and production), and had much better response, yet you call The Heist underrated. You shudda mentioned EL-P or Aesop Rock.

  • conflicto
  • Anti-Lolipop Kid

    Some of you Hip Hop heads kill me. Album was a good flat out. #’s don’t lie especially with virtually no Marketing behind it. Plus the kid is humble unlike 98% of these rap fags out now.

  • blogg & R ????

    why doesnt he just come out of the closet and admit he is on the payroll?

    great music, gets the people going and all but come on son , this is a pay to play site

    and besides with only 10k twitter followers bdot just looking for the come up

  • blogg & R ????

    like A&R? haha

  • conflicto

    well, maybe all disagreements will come to an end (obviously not) if B.dot tells on what basis does he choose The heist as the most underrated album of 2012.

  • blogg & R ????

    i dont know why yall putting so much energy into hating on bdot he has a platform and can use it as he sees fit hands down


    he is the cat that put ross ahead of em as far as hottest emcee record of the year and shit

    being a fan is cool

    being a artist is another world

    being a subjective voicein journalism with an emotional tie resonates with the reader

    but this aint it playa not by far.

    great album

    great artist

    but when you are on tv commercials and debut high on the charts and you getting clear channel spins thats not underrated

    and if you imply that its in the hip hop community and thats the point you make then fine

    let hip hop die

    and watch cats like macklemore redifine the invention of what lyricism is in his own right after all its dope and when shit is dope clearly

    floats to the top PIMPIN

    champagne coming soon son!

  • lilrizq

    Meh not really my taste I guess. He got bars mos def but the beats all sounded real commercial… like Rihanna was gonna jump on the hook or something. Now look at this video I edited for my homie “The Voice”.

  • donlife

    this album is trash. real talk. puts on ” nas album” or ” lupe album ” than this trash.

  • shit son

    you wanna talk under rated?



  • Drew Who

    to everyone hatin, your ignorant as fuck and maybe you should start listening to lyrics.

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