I will be the first one to admit that before today, I had not listened to/viewed “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, a YouTube hit with over 69 million views. Why? Because I didn’t feel like it. If you’re the same way, don’t worry — we can keep you in the loop and provide some actual real-life advice as relayed by the song’s lyrics. And you’ll never even have to listen to it if you don’t want to. Win-win.
The premise of the video is simple — this guy goes to a thrift store and then raps about all the stuff he bought. And while it’s admittedly a bit catchy, the video might not be for everyone. But the advice contained within? That, anyone can use.
Lyric: “I’m gonna pop some tags/Only got $20 dollars in my pocket/I – I – I’m hunting, looking for a come-up.”
Real life relevance: A little bit of money can go a long way at a thrift store, if you’re willing to spend the time to hunt around for desired items. If you’re diligent and dogged in your pursuit of deals, you could come away with say, a complete outfit for a small amount of money instead of just one item from a name-brand store.
Lyric: “Probably shoulda washed this, smells like R. Kelly’s sheets.”
Real life relevancy: This one is pretty self-explanatory. Although plenty of thrift stores will clean items they take possession of, you’re going to want to do so yourself before wearing clothing out in public. No one wants to smell like anyone’s sheets.
Lyric: “Passin’ up on those moccasins someone else’s been walkin’ in.”
Real life relevancy: This is more of a personal tip — if you don’t like the thought of used shoes, you’re going to want to skip that aisle. There’s no great way to clean the inside of a shoe so if the idea of someone else’s foot inside your shoe skeeves you out, either look for very gently used pairs or move along.
Lyric:“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?”
Real life relevancy:The fashions of yesteryear often come back into style in the present day, due to the cyclical nature of such things. If you’re not into your own grandparents’ hand-me-downs, someone else might be — bringing those items to a resale shop could grab you a couple bucks and make someone else who likes granny glasses pleased as punch.
Lyric:“They had a broken keyboard, I bought a broken keyboard.”
Real life relevancy: There’s likely not a guarantee that anything you buy at a thrift store will actually work. So if that’s important to you, check out the item at the store before you purchase it. Otherwise you’ll just have a broken keyboard.
Lyric: “They be like, “Oh, that Gucci – that’s hella tight.”/I’m like, “Yo – that’s fifty dollars for a T-shirt.” …That shirt’s hella dough/And having the same one as six other people in this club is a hella don’t.”
Real life relevancy: Don’t want to pay out the nose to look like everyone else? Odds are if you buy a $0.50 T-shirt with a wolf howling on the moon, someone else at a social gathering will not be wearing an identical item. If a personal, unique style is what you’re after, you’ll spend less in that pursuit at a thrift store.
If you’re so inclined, there’s likely even more real-life advice to be gleaned from the video, which we’ve provided below for your viewing pleasure or simply curiosity (NOTE: Could be considered NSFW by way of naughty lyrics):