On the 10th anniversary of the album that skyrocketed him to fame, Macklemore has reflected on his past decade of success and thanked fans for their help. 

On October 9th, 2012, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis released their debut studio album The Heist, massively changing both of their lives in the process.

Thanks to mega hits like ‘Thrift Shop’ and ‘Can’t Hold Us’, the album was an unexpected success across the globe, reaching number two on both the ARIA Albums Chart and U.S Billboard 200.

Much more controversially, The Heist also saw the hip hop duo beat Kendrick Lamar to win the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album. Whatever you thought of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, their music was inescapable in 2012.

10 years later, Macklemore has shared a lengthy reflection about The Heist on Instagram. “Today marks the 10 year anniversary of the album that changed my life forever,” he wrote.

“We were in a cramped 300 sq ft studio off 109th and Aurora in Seattle. Our small studio space doubled as a recording studio and our operations centre. It’s where I first sat with Ryan on our Craiglisted couch and said ‘I have a concept for a song. Hear me out… It’s about thrift shopping.'”

The rapper then reflected on his many memories of the place. “It was where Ryan first played me this anthemic stadium sounding beat that I had no idea what to do with, and every couple months he would say to me ‘Bro, you HAVE to write this one’ (‘Can’t Hold Us’).

Love Hip Hop?

Get the latest Hip Hop news, features, updates and giveaways straight to your inbox Learn more

“It’s where I came back to after my first relapse, in some of the deepest pain I had ever felt, told Ryan what had happen and wrote the words to ‘Starting Over’.

YouTube VideoPlay

Macklemore continued by revealing that “every label” turned The Heist down. “We had no choice but to do it ourselves,” he explained.

“Nobody in the industry saw it coming, because we weren’t part of the industry. We were literally made by our fans. The PEOPLE were our record label, our publicists and our distribution. They spread the word, they championed us, they showed up one by one and slowly passed our music to the rest of the world.”

After noting the huge success of the album, Macklemore claimed The Heist was “the biggest independent album in the history of music.”

He concluded by thanking the duo’s fans: “But as I celebrate this anniversary today, I want to say thank you. What WE did with The Heist has cemented itself in history.

“None of that is possible without the people, front and centre, before play listing and algorithms were a thing, telling their friends ‘there’s these dudes Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. You guys gotta hear this shit.’

“The industry was disrupted because of you guys. The Heist was a glitch, an outlier, the left field cinderella story that was created by the fans… You changed my life FOREVER, and given me the greatest gift… Being able to look back, 10 years later and think ‘Damn. WE really did that. Timeless.'”

For more on this topic, follow the Hip Hop Observer.

Get unlimited access to the coverage that shapes our culture.
to Rolling Stone magazine
to Rolling Stone magazine