Who’s the bigger Big Event?: Macklemore and Ryan Lewis vs. Phillip Phillips


Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Rachel Johnston

Who would have ever thought the key to 100 million hits on YouTube and reaching number one on the billboards would be rapping about wearing your granddad’s clothes to the tune of a crazy-contagious saxophone riff you’ll never get out of your head?

There’s a reason the music video for “Thrift Shop” has more than 106 million views, but there’s also a lot more to Macklemore’s story.

Macklemore (aka Ben Haggerty) is undeniably unique. A native of Seattle, Wash. and of Irish descent, he is far from your stereotypical rapper. With clever lyrics, vibrant beats and pure motives, Macklemore is in his own league.

The Heist (2012), Macklemore’s newest album and first full-length album with producer Ryan Lewis, contains a wide variety of tempos and lyrical content. Songs like “Thrift Shop” and “Can’t Hold Us” are catchy, upbeat and witty. These hits helped launch the success of The Heist, but only make up a small portion of the overall brilliance of the album.

On the other end of the spectrum are tracks like “Same Love” and “Neon Cathedral,” which reveal issues of equality, religion and substance abuse. Through his more serious lyrics, Macklemore reveals memories from his childhood as well as his strong opinions on consumerism and conservatives without using anger or derogatory language that often characterizes rap.

Through his music, Macklemore is able to reach out to his target audience of young people. To get his message across, he reveals his unrefined opinions on politics, drugs, the media and religion.

In his 2010 single “Otherside,” Macklemore defines his views on modern music: “Violence, drugs and sex sells, so we try to sound like someone else.” He is well aware of the affects of the media (especially music) on youth and has made it his mission to encourage people to not try to act like these rappers who encourage destructive behavior.

Macklemore therefore promotes young people to focus their energy on creativity; in the track “Ten Thousand Hours,” Macklemore says, “a life lived for art is never wasted.”

Macklemore’s passion for having a good time balanced with his advocacy for the goodness of humanity can do anything from inspiring the best party soundtrack or giving people a reason for change.

The Heist compiles a wide variety of songs that collectively give voice to both the joys and the serious issues of our generation. Macklemore’s lyrics reference everything from gay rights to Good Will, from substance abuse to Shark Week, and from questioning God to feeling like gold.

Macklemore gives a new name to modern rap.  His sometimes raw, sometimes ridiculous lyrics paired with his infamous high energy guarantees April 5 is going to be “a really, really, really good time.”


Phillip Phillips (Junior)

Carly Uthe

What do you get when you mix a 22-year-old alternative folk singer from Georgia, and a 29-year-old rapper from Seattle? Well, the two big Augustana UBG events, of course.

Although Augustana pulled off getting two great and completely opposite acts, it is obvious that the Augustana student body and the community outside of Augustana are more excited for one act over the other.

It has been less than a month since UBG announced that Phillip Phillips was going to be the second big act to come to town. Since the big announcement that came on Jan. 25, tickets were available for pre-sale to Augustana students and after becoming available to the public on Feb. 8, the concert was sold out in less than two hours.

The big Macklemore announcement came on Dec. 8 and that concert did not sell out until Jan. 24, the day before the Phillip Phillips announcement.

If ticket sales are not enough proof that people are more excited for Phillip Phillips over Macklemore, I think it is time to point out the most obvious reason of all…People were so disappointed that Phil Squared sold out so quickly, he was asked to play another concert. Yes ladies, you have the chance to see Phillip Phillips twice. Does anyone else see the irony?

Let’s do the math here. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis did not sell out until almost a month after their tickets became available to the public, and they will only be playing one show.

Phillip Phillips sold out after two hours of his tickets being available to the public, and he will be playing two shows. I’m no math genius. In fact I’m not good at math at all, but if my calculations are correct, Phillip Phillips is definitely the winning performer.

Although I may be a lot more excited for Phillip Phillips, I think it is really great that UBG was able to book two completely opposite performers. I think that they were able to not only please the students of Augie by booking a rapper whose song “Thrift Shop” is placing number three on the Billboard Top 40, but I think they also pleased the students and the surrounding community by booking the latest winner of one of America’s hottest television shows.

I will be attending the Phillip Phillips concert with my mom (who might be more excited than I am). I am not so sure I would want to attend a Macklemore concert with anyone other than a friend. But that is what I think is so great about these two big events.

For those of you who do not understand what it means to be “poppin’ tags” I will see you at the Phillip Phillips concert. For those of you who do not understand why a beard and a guitar is so enticing, have fun at the Macklemore concert.

But the one question that I know many have asked throughout this article: Who would actually name their kid Phillip Phillips? Well the answer is simple: his dad, Phillip Phillips Senior.