Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' 'The Heist': Behind The AOTY Nominee

It's up for Album Of The Year at The GRAMMYs: should it win?

Hey guys! Welcome back to our coverage of all the Album Of The Year nominees at the 56th annual GRAMMY Awards. Up until now, we've broken down Sara Bareilles' The Blessed Unrest, Daft Punk's Random Access Memories, and Kendrick Lamar's good kid, m.A.A.d city, and now it's time to look at a true success story with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' The Heist.

Why is this such a unique contender for GRAMMY stardom? Seattle-based rapper Macklemore and his production buddy Ryan Lewis independently produced, recorded and released the album all through their own label, and it shockingly reached number 1 on iTunes within hours of being released back in October of 2012. Not bad for a couple of big dreamers from the Pacific Northwest!

Not only is The Heist a big-selling record, it's also comprised of single after single, starting with one of the year's biggest hits, "Thrift Shop". Similar to Lorde's "Royals" in the way that it was written to mock pop songs that brag about expensive thing, "Thrift Shop" has Macklemore chanting I'ma take your grandpa's style, I'ma take your grandpa's style, / No for real - ask your grandpa - can I have his hand-me-downs? and it's made thrift shopping cool again.

Also resonating with music fans is the pair's uplifting single "Can't Hold Us", featuring a delightfully hooky chorus sung by Ray Dalton: Here we go back, this is the moment / Tonight is the night, well fight 'til its over / So we put our hands up like the ceiling cant hold us. Probably the most socially-important track off The Heist is "Same Love", featuring Mary Lambert, which is a pro-same-sex anthem that is bringing awareness about gay marriage into the mainstream.

We have no doubt that Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' debut LP has a high chance of winning Album Of The Year at the GRAMMYs. Watch their hilarious music video for "Thift Shop" below:

And be sure to check out's Inside The Album Of The Year video feature, highlighting all the nominees at the 2014 GRAMMYs:

The 56th annual GRAMMY Awards are taking place this Sunday, January 26th at 8pm EST / PST. Make sure you tune in, and let us know if you think Macklemore & Ryan Lewis deserve to take home the AOTY prize!