“This Unruly Mess I’ve Made” Review


Macklemore fan, Sven Berglund, listens to “This Unruly Mess I’ve Made” in the new CTE wing at West Anchorage High School, Mar. 23.

Quinn White, Reporter

The latest Macklemore and Ryan Lewis album, “This Unruly Mess I’ve Made” (TUMIM) was debuted Feb. 26.TUMIM features 13 songs on iTunes, while the physical copy has 15. Macklemore and Lewis released this album four years after “The Heist,” which was their second most recent album, in 2012.  They stated that TUMIM took them over a year and a half to record and produce. According to Nielsen Music, TUMIM sold 51,000 copies in the week ending March 3

Dalton Anderson, a sophomore at West High School and a Macklemore fan noted that his favorite song on the album is “Let’s Eat” (feat. XP), “It humanizes Macklemore and [makes] it relatable to us.” He went on to talk about how he could relate to this song in particular. “Let’s Eat” talks about Macklemore’s struggle with his weight and failed attempts at dieting, all while putting a funny twist in the song.

Over the summer of 2015 Macklemore released “Downtown” (featuring Eric Nally, Melle Mel, Look Moe Dee & Grandmaster Caz) which was later released on TUMIM. “Downtown” is one of the more popular songs on the album, due to the fact that it is often played on the radio. Rhiannon Horton, a junior at West said, “it’s a good track,” she continued to say, “it’s really upbeat and whenever I listen to it I feel good.”

Many fans across the internet compare this album to Macklemore’s early work, such as “The Language Of My World,” which was released in 2005. That album included the track, “White Privilege.” Since then, much controversy has grown amongst the public from “White Privilege II” (feat. Jamila Woods) which appears on TUMIM. The song was first released as a single, and then was included in TUMIM. The song touches on white supremacy in America and cultural appropriation through hip-hop.

Sven Berglund, a teacher at West has been a Macklemore fan since he saw him in concert in 2008 and claims that he was the first person to bring Macklemore’s music to Anchorage.He said, “A big thing with it being more controversial is that there are a heck of a lot more people listening to Macklemore now then there was when ‘Language Of My World’ came out… If he had that fan base when ‘Language Of My World’ came out, the first one would have been a bigger controversy. It was an unknown album.” He went on to talk about why it was such a big deal in the hip-hop community, “It makes you think, doesn’t it? We’ve always associated hip-hop with blackness. But you look bad at it, and it’s a mess. Hip-hop isn’t black, hip-hop is urban. Hip-hop is street, it’s not black.”

Overall, Ryan Lewis makes “This Unruly Mess I’ve Made” both innovative and unique. His growth as a producer is apparent compared to “The Heist” and previous EP’s. His beats are more complex and are much different than those of their previous work. Anderson said, “This is a great experience for all [of] us Macklemore fans.”