Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about success. We’re all clamoring and hustling for success in our own ways. Do you follow Macklemore online? That dude works every single day. He’s always in the home studio or on tour. Every day. On “Ten Thousand Hours” he raps, “The Greats were great because they paint a lot,” and you see this with Ben. So when was the last time you listened to The Heist all the way through? I’ve been listening to it a lot lately and there’s such a clear concept from start to finish. It’s not just a collection of random hits: You can see a summer day, walking our green streets, past the big, luxurious northern Capitol Hill homes up to Volunteer Park. You know all these songs, all those songs that played on the radio all summer in 2012 and into the next. There’s so much Seattle on display here. I met Mr. “Thrift Shop” Wanz at a party a few years back and, and I was celebrity struck talking with him. Many of the themes on The Heist have only grown in relevance in 2017, in an America where our president says it’s okay to hate and discriminate. Somewhere between the gentle piano that opens “Same Love” and the chorus of angels that ends it, Macklemore raps, “No law’s gonna change us,” which succinctly summarizes the current mood of defiant Seattle. Don’t be jealous of Macklemore’s money or fame. Be jealous of his impressive flow, his honesty on display, the chart-topping arrangements from Ryan Lewis, and the fact that they did it all themselves on their own terms. No labels. It’s all self-produced and self-released like 90% of the other records I review here. “A life lived for art is never a life wasted.” Pictured here is the 5lb, double vinyl, gator-skin, 18-insert, bonus tracks, box set. It’s a big audacious statement in an age when most are releasing virtual music for free on SoundCloud. Lots of my fav local cats were involved with this record: Nathan Quiroga, Eighty4 Fly, Budo, Hollis Wong-Wear… And then you think, “Damn, this DIY record from Seattle won a Grammy!” What does success mean to you if not this?