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Macklemore & Ryan Lewis: Tiny Desk Concert

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14 min 45 sec

December 3, 2012 The Seattle duo literally shakes the dust off the ceiling tiles in this performance at the NPR Music offices. In the span of about 15 minutes, the pair works through a moving message song ("Same Love"), a hilarious goof-off ("Thrift Shop") and a rousingly inspirational closer ("Can't Hold Us").

Tears and laughter in the span of about 15 minutes — that's what's so astonishing about these Macklemore & Ryan Lewis songs.

The first time I heard "Same Love," it brought tears to the eyes of a roomful of people, myself included. The song is about equality, specifically gay rights, with an unambiguous message: "It's human rights for everybody / There is no difference." Then, in a flip of a backing-track beat, Macklemore (a.k.a. Ben Haggerty) sings about wearing a velour jumpsuit and some house slippers, "grandpa style."

The contrast in these songs, "Same Love" and "Thrift Shop," makes the levity all that much memorable; as producer, Ryan Lewis is a master at the hook and clever with the melody. But this Tiny Desk Concert didn't end there: The live, sweet, soulful sounds of singer Ray Dalton belting, "Like the ceiling can't hold us" had Macklemore standing on my desk and shaking the dust off the ceiling tiles. Watching this video fills me with that inspirational feeling we shared watching it happen: I'm still cleaning dust around my desk, but it only makes me smile.

  • "Same Love"
  • "Thrift Shop"
  • "Can't Hold Us"
Credits

Producer: Bob Boilen; Editor: Denise DeBelius; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Videographers: Denise DeBelius, Christopher Parks, Lauren Rock; photo by Lauren Rock/NPR

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