If you didn’t know that Macklemore’s old rap name was actually Professor Macklemore, thats understandable.
But alas, there was a time in Macklemore’s career that predated his collaboration with Ryan Lewis. And during that time, he released two mixtapes, entitles “Open Your Eyes” and “The Language of My World.” And during that period Ben Haggerty (Macklemore) released only one of those mixtapes under the stage name Professor Macklemore, and that one was “Open Your Eyes.” While it is in no way a bad mixtape, but when compared to the likes of “The Heist” or even “The Unplanned Mixtape,” “Open Your Eyes” is just not on the same level of quality as the latter. It appears as though the name change, as well as the new companion had changed Macklemore as an artist, and for the better.
Because I just heard this mixtape for the first time tonight, I’d like to give a brief song review of some of my favorite songs from “Open Your Eyes” by Professor Macklemore.
1. Intro- Very nice use of some flute-like instrument. Sets the tone for the rest of the mixtape very well in 1 minute and 49 seconds.
2. Welcome to Culture- The first time hearing Professor Macklemore. Very ominous sounding back track for this track. This Macklemore sounds much faster and much more aggressive than the Macklmore of late. Really sounds like he goes hard on this track. Leaves me wanting more.
3. The Almighty Kingdom- I’m liking the medieval-sounding backtrack. I’m liking the metaphor of a kingdom for referencing his hometown of Seattle. He often raps about Seattle and while this isn’t my favorite Seattle track of his, I think he plays it in the most clever way out of all of them.
6. Listen to Sound Procreate- Very psychedelic sounding backbeat. Another great metaphor of music just being sound procreating. Very good flow on this track. Lyricism and passion really showing on this track as well.
11. Journey- My favorite sample backtrack on the mixtape. Very folklore-ish to me but it seems to work. I know I haven’t really commented much on his actual rapping, but he doesn’t really change it up for most of the mixtape, and the only thing that is varying is the backtrack.
14. Until Reality Blends Into Dreams- He’s mentioned that he was a heavy drug and alcohol user as a teen and that seems to be evident in this track. Very spiritual-themed lyrics on this track. The motif of blending dreams and reality makes this a very interesting listen and it definitely worked to make a damn good song.
16. The Infinite Anthem of Truth- Big fan of the Martin Luther King Jr. speech intro for the song. The rebellious nature of Macklemore is heavily shown on this track. Another passionate track. The vilin backtrack really works on this one.
18. Lifetimes- Macklemore has an uncanny ability to find great singers to be featured on his songs. In this case, its Kelly Montague. He closes out the song as well as the entire album quite well. Once again, the style of rap in this song isn’t much different than the rest of the mixtape, but its still a memorable one. I have to admit, this is probably my favorite.
Since I’m sure that was the worst and least detailed/specific album review of all time, if you really want to know what this mixtape is like, you should just download it yourself. Trust me, its a good one. Plus, its free if you get a DatPiff account.