Thrift Shop

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"Thrift Shop"
Macklemore - Thrift Shop.jpg
Single by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz
from the album The Heist
B-side "Ten Thousand Hours"
Released August 27, 2012
Format CD, digital download
Recorded 2012
Length 3:55
Label Macklemore
Songwriter(s) Ben Haggerty, Ryan Lewis
Producer(s) Ryan Lewis
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis singles chronology
"Same Love"
"Thrift Shop"
"White Walls"
"Same Love"
"Thrift Shop"
"White Walls"
Wanz singles chronology
"Thrift Shop"
(2012) Thrift Shop2012
(2014) Family2014
Music video
"Thrift Shop" on YouTube

"Thrift Shop" is a song by American hip hop duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. It was released on August 27, 2012 as Macklemore's eighth career single and the fourth single from their debut studio album, The Heist (2012). It features vocals from Wanz. The song was composed to show Macklemore's esteem for thrift shops and saving money, opposing the flaunting of expensive items many rappers display. Music reviewers praised the song for its humorous lyrics and social critique. It was released in the United Kingdom in January 2013.

Despite being released on Macklemore's independent label with distribution by the Alternative Distribution Alliance (ADA), a Warner Music Group Company, the single was a sleeper hit. It peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and has since sold over 7 million copies in the US alone. The song also reached number one in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, France, Denmark, Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand. A music video was released to accompany the song's release on August 29, 2012. The video has garnered more than 1.0 billion views on YouTube. In 2014, the single won two Grammy Awards for Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song.[1]

Background and composition[edit]

The song illustrates Macklemore's interest in buying cheap clothing from thrift shops, disdaining designer labels and trends. He claims to enjoy donning "your granddad's clothes" and impulsively buying a sharp-looking but dubious-smelling fur stole just because "it was 99 cents". Macklemore spoke to MTV News about the meaning of the song: "Rappers talk about, oh I buy this and I buy that, and I spend this much money and I make it rain, and this type of champagne and painting the club, and this is the kind of record that's the exact opposite," he explained. "It's the polar opposite of it. It's kind of standing for like let's save some money, let's keep some money away, let's spend as little as possible and look as fresh as possible at the same time."[2]

Upon being asked why he thought the track was so successful, Macklemore replied:

"I think hip-hop goes in waves, and it's something that's different. It's a concept. It's obviously against the status quo of what people normally rap about. This is a song that goes against all of that. How much can you save? How fresh can you look by not looking like anybody else? And on top of that, you have an infectious beat and a hook that gets stuck in people's heads."[3]

"Thrift Shop" is written in the key of G minor and has a tempo of 96 beats per minute.[4] The song is prominently underpinned by a looping saxophone melody.[5]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Common Sense Media 4/5 stars[6]
Digital Spy 5/5 stars[7]

The song received widespread critical acclaim. It has been called a critique of the product placement common in modern hip hop,[6][8] but The New York Times critic Jon Caramanica writes, "it's not quite the robust sendup of hip-hop-extravagance clichés that it aspires to be."[9] Robert Copsey of Digital Spy gave the song 5 out of 5 stars, calling it "a rare beast of a song - original, musically daring and genuinely funny."[7] Common Sense Media's Kyle Jackson said it is "funny and captures the hipster zeitgeist perfectly", defining the song as "an eclectic and socially conscious tour de force of lyricism and electronic beats."[6] Entertainment Weekly named the song as the 18th best single of 2012.[10] The song took the #1 spot in the Triple J Hottest 100 countdown of 2012.[5]

Chart performance[edit]

In the United States, the song debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 on September 15, 2012. It dropped out the following week but re-entered six weeks later on October 20, 2012. The song then steadily climbed the chart until it entered the top ten in the issue dated January 5, 2013. It replaced Bruno Mars' "Locked Out of Heaven" at number one in its 16th week on the chart on February 2, 2013[11] and remained atop the chart for six non-consecutive weeks.[12] It has also topped the Rap Songs chart for fifteen weeks. It's the first song in the history of the Digital Songs chart to experience a jump in sales in each of its first five weeks atop the chart,[13] "Thrift Shop" was the second best-selling single of 2013 in the US after Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines", with 6,148,000 copies sold during the year.[14] As of November 2015, the song has sold 7,740,000 downloads in the United States, making it the fifth all-time best-selling digital single in the country.[15]

The song also had much success on Billboard's component charts, remaining atop the Digital Songs chart for ten weeks and topping Billboard's Radio Songs chart for two weeks. It also peaked at number one on the On-Demand Songs chart and remained there for eleven weeks until week ending March 30, 2013. It set a record on that chart as the first song to reach two million streams in a single week since the chart's inception. The song also topped the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart for fourteen consecutive weeks.[12] The song is the first independently distributed title to top the Billboard Digital Songs since "We Are the World 25 for Haiti" in February 2010. It is also only the second independent song in history to achieve the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, nearly 20 years after Lisa Loeb's "Stay (I Missed You)" in 1994.[16] Billboard ranked it as the No. 1 song for 2013.[17]

In the United Kingdom, "Thrift Shop" entered at number twenty four on the UK Singles Chart in late January 2013, despite being available as a single via iTunes since August 1, 2012. The following week, the single rose twenty-two positions to number two. Two weeks after entering the chart, the song climbed one place to a peak of number one on February 10, 2013―for the week ending date February 16, 2013―making Macklemore and Ryan Lewis only the second act to score a number one in Britain with a self-released single.[18][19] As of July 2013, "Thrift Shop" has sold 680,000 copies in the UK.[20]

In Canada, the song also topped the Canadian Hot 100 for six consecutive weeks.[21] It was the country's second best-selling digital song of 2013 with 554,000 copies sold in Canada (all versions combined).[22]

Wider reception[edit]

In August 2013, the rapper Le1f publicly criticised Macklemore’s song on Twitter, claiming that "Thrift Shop" borrowed its beat extensively from his own earlier song, "Wut".[23][24]

Some thrift shops have reported an increase in business, especially among college students, which they have attributed to the song.[25][26][27] Several locations that were used in the music video and those that are located in the general vicinity of the places used for filming reported that their sales haven't seen a sizable bump, but there was "attention."[2]

Music video[edit]

The accompanying music video was co-directed by Jon Jon Augustavo, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.[28] It was released on Lewis' YouTube channel on August 29, 2012.[28] Filming took place at several thrift shops in Seattle, including Goodwill Outlet, Value Village in Capitol Hill, Red Light Vintage, and Fremont Vintage Mall, as well as at Seattle locations like the Unicorn/Narwhal Arcade Bar and the Northwest African American Museum.[29][30][31][32][33] Macklemore attempted to get fellow Seattle rapper Sir Mix-a-Lot to appear in the video but he did not return the calls.[34][35] Some local Seattle musicians like Thomas Grey of Champagne Champagne appear in the music video, and a DeLorean DMC-12 car is shown as well. The video was nominated at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards for Video of the Year.[36]

In popular culture[edit]


The famous children's show Sesame Street showed a parody of "Thrift Shop" in which Macklemore, as the character "Mucklemore", shows Oscar the Grouch and his other Grouch friends how to recycle their trash the proper way.[37]

A parody was a part of a Pessach Shop Passover Jam, done for the Jewish Holiday of Passover by the a Cappella group Six13.[38]

In 2016, The Hillywood Show parodied the song and its video in their YouTube video, "Sherlock Parody by The Hillywood Show" [39][40]

Verizon Wireless parodied the song in a 2016 holiday promotion, this time in a laundromat.[41]


The song was first used in a 2012 video by FaZeClan titled "FaZe ILLCAMS - Episode 43". As of 2017 the video has over two million views.

The song was also used in the trailers for the films Pain & Gain, The Internship and Tammy.

"Weird Al" Yankovic recorded a cover of "Thrift Shop" as part of his polka medley "NOW That's What I Call Polka!" for his 2014 album Mandatory Fun.[42]

Formats and track listings[edit]

Digital download[43]
No. Title Length
1. "Thrift Shop" 3:55
No. Title Length
1. "Thrift Shop" 3:55
2. "Ten Thousand Hours" 4:10

Credits and personnel[edit]

Charts and certifications[edit]

See also[edit]


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External links[edit]