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“Thrift Shop” is a 2012 song by the American rapper Macklemore and producer Ryan Lewis, with additional vocals by R&B singer Michael “Wanz” Wansley. The song’s lyrics describe Macklemore’s penchant for discovering rare bargains at thrift clothing stores, while eschewing expensive designer brands. The music video became widely popular online shortly after it was uploaded to YouTube in August of 2012, inspiring the creation of many parody video tributes.
The song “Thrift Shop” was released as a single on Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ debut album The Heist on August 28th, 2012, and the official music video was uploaded to YouTube on the following day. As of January 2013, the video has received over 70.9 million views, 469,000 up votes and 86,000 comments.
Hey, Macklemore! Can we go thrift shopping?
What, what, what, what… [x7]
Bada, badada, badada, bada… [x9]
I’m gonna pop some tags
Only got twenty dollars in my pocket
I – I – I’m hunting, looking for a come-up
This is fucking awesome
Nah, Walk up to the club like, “What up, I got a big cock!”
I’m so pumped about some shit from the thrift shop
Ice on the fringe, it’s so damn frosty
That people like, “Damn! That’s a cold ass honkey.”
Rollin’ in, hella deep, headin’ to the mezzanine,
Dressed in all pink, ‘cept my gator shoes, those are green
Draped in a leopard mink, girls standin’ next to me
Probably shoulda washed this, smells like R. Kelly’s sheets
But shit, it was ninety-nine cents! (Bag it)
Coppin’ it, washin’ it, ‘bout to go and get some compliments
Passin’ up on those moccasins someone else’s been walkin’ in
But me and grungy fuckin it man
I am stuntin’ and flossin’ and
Savin’ my money and I’m hella happy that’s a bargain, bitch
I’m a take your grandpa’s style, I’m a take your grandpa’s style,
No for real – ask your grandpa – can I have his hand-me-downs? (Thank you)
Velour jumpsuit and some house slippers
Dookie brown leather jacket that I found diggin’
They had a broken keyboard, I bought a broken keyboard
I bought a skeet blanket, then I bought a kneeboard
Hello, hello, my ace man, my Mello
John Wayne ain’t got nothing on my fringe game, hell no
I could take some Pro Wings, make them cool, sell those
The sneaker heads would be like “Aw, he got the Velcros”
What you know about rockin’ a wolf on your noggin?
What you knowin’ about wearin’ a fur fox skin?
I’m digging, I’m digging, I’m searching right through that luggage
One man’s trash, that’s another man’s come-up
Thank your granddad for donating that plaid button-up shirt
‘Cause right now I’m up in her stunting
I’m at the Goodwill, you can find me in the (Uptons)
I’m not, I’m not sick of searchin’ in that section (Uptons)
Your grammy, your aunty, your momma, your mammy
I’ll take those flannel zebra jammies, second-hand, I rock that motherfucker
The built-in onesie with the socks on that motherfucker
I hit the party and they stop in that motherfucker
They be like, “Oh, that Gucci – that’s hella tight.”
I’m like, “Yo – that’s fifty dollars for a T-shirt.”
Limited edition, let’s do some simple addition
Fifty dollars for a T-shirt – that’s just some ignorant bitch (shit)
I call that getting swindled and pimped (shit)
I call that getting tricked by a business
That shirt’s hella dough
And having the same one as six other people in this club is a hella don’t
Peep game, come take a look through my telescope
Trying to get girls from a brand? Man you hella won’t
Man you hella won’t
(Goodwill… poppin’ tags… yeah!)
I wear your granddad’s clothes
I look incredible
I’m in this big ass coat
From that thrift shop down the road
Is that your grandma’s coat?
The same day the video was uploaded to YouTube, Redditor pricklypete submitted it to the /r/videos subreddit, where it received over 2,000 up votes and 160 comments in the next six months. On September 10th, Redditor orangepeelz reposted the video to the /r/videos subreddit, where it garnered more than 7,500 up votes and 640 comments over the next five months. On September 26th, a fan page for “Thrift Shop by Macklemore” was created on Facebook, which accumulated over 9,000 likes over the next four months. On October 8th, 2012, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis participated in an “ask us anything” (AMA) post on the /r/IAmA subreddit, in which they revealed that The Heist had become the #1 album in America on the online music store iTunes during the course of the AMA. On December 6th, YouTuber whatsupelle uploaded a parody of the “Thrift Shop” music video in which a poor father is forced to shop at thrift shops (shown below). Within two months, the video received over 460,000 up views and 600 comments.
On December 11th, Macklemore, Ryan Lewis and Wanz performed “Thrift Shop” on the talk show Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. On December 17th, the “Thrift Shop Memes” Facebook page was created to showcase various image macros with captions inspired by the song’s lyrics (shown below).
On January 9th, 2013, YouTuber steveberkecomedy uploaded a “Thrift Shop” parody video titled “Pot Shop,” with lyrics calling for the legalization of marijuana (shown below, left). The same day, Redditor mysterieuxmystere submitted the video to the /r/videos subreddit. Within 19 days, the Reddit post received over 6,700 up votes and 600 comments and the YouTube video accumulated more than 1.3 million views and 2,400 comments. On January 17th, the video game news site IGN uploaded a parody titled “Game Shop” to their official YouTube channel, with lyrics describing the experience of shopping for video games in retail stores (shown below, right). Within two weeks, the video received over 993,000 views and 4,400 comments.
On January 23rd, “Thrift Shop” reached the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100. The following day, the Seattle PIreported that Macklemore was the first Seattle-based artist in over two decades to reach the top position on the Billboard chart. On January 25th, Time Magazine published an article reporting that “Thrift Shop” was the first indie hit to top the Billboard chart since 1994.