THURS MAY 26
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis w/Raz Simone; Rose Quarter Memorial Coliseum, 300 Winning Way
For a brief moment, Seattleites Macklemore and Ryan Lewis were hip-hop's local boys who made good—the pair had two singles soar to the top of the charts without any major label infrastructure, an undeniably impressive feat. And then something even more remarkable happened: Overnight, Macklemore went from being a middling novelty rapper to the country's most important rapper. "Same Love" was lauded by people who are generally afraid of rap music as a significant totem of social change. In a great example of how the music industry is a microcosm of life's injustices, Macklemore's Fisher-Price hip-hop debut The Heist beat out Kendrick Lamar's Good Kid, M.A.D.D. City at the 2014 Grammy Awards for Best Rap Album. And in one of the most transparently self-congratulatory acts committed by any celebrity in the social media age, Macklemore then proceeded to post a photo on Instagram of a text he sent Lamar telling him that he thought M.A.D.D. City deserved the award—just 'cause, you know, he's a legit fuckin' dude. "Downtown," the duo's lead single off their latest album This Unruly Mess I've Made, is the most interminably obnoxious radio hit since Fun's "We Are Young." And that's saying something.
TUES MAY 31
Insane Clown Posse w/Young Wicked, DS8, Knothead; Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th
As established last month in this column's Twiztid preview: Making fun of Juggalos is the ultimate low-hanging fruit. It's also worth noting that—separated from the clown makeup and Faygo showers—Insane Clown Posse are far from the worst musical act of all time (that would be Phish). Like, have you ever actually heard their music? ICP's pre-"Miracles" efforts, like "golden era" mid-'90s records Riddle Box and The Great Milenko, are shockingly listenable, all things considered. Sometimes Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope even exhibit a surprising degree of intellect you may have assumed was confined to their interview with Bill O'Reilly. For example, did you know that "Ol' Evil Eye" off Riddle Box is a retelling of (godfather of horror-core) Edgar Allen Poe's short story The Tell-Tale Heart, to the extent that Poe is actually credited as a co-writer in the album's liner notes? No? Better start doing your homework then—God knows ICP have done theirs.