"Thrift Shop (feat. Wanz)" (CD Single)

Rapper shops at Goodwill; hilarity and profanity ensue.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Equates thrift store "come-ups" (good deals) with high fashion, giving hope for hip cred on a budget.

Positive role models

Macklemore makes it cool to dig through the bargain bin while deprecating expensive designer materialism.

Not applicable

First line of the song includes a brag about the size of his "c--k," while another lyric refers to singer R. Kelly's sex offender case; also mentions getting "up in her skirt."


Curse words are used as laugh lines throughout, including in the chorus. Profanity includes the words "c--k," "f--k," "f--king awesome," "motherf--ker," "bitch," "s--t," "piss," "pimped," "ass."


While the song is about shopping, it's more like a satire of brand-name fashion, encouraging listeners to make the most of the "20 dollars" in their pocket.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that while "Thrift Shop" is a viral sensation that's funny and captures the hipster zeitgeist perfectly, it's still a hip-hop song that uses some strong language (including "c--k" and a few variations of "f--k") to be humorous. There are also a few references to sex, such as getting "up in her skirt." Macklemore is generally a positive lyricist who critiques hip-hop conventions regarding materialism, homophobia, and race relations. 

What's the story?

Macklemore, a 29-year-old Seattle rapper, teams up with producer Ryan Lewis on this infectious ode to the bargain bin, which has propelled the group to Internet fame. \"Thrift Shop,\" which comes from the duo's collaborative album, The Heist, is an eclectic and socially conscious tour de force of lyricism and electronic beats. Listeners may also remember hearing \"Same Love,\" the single that drew attention to the group because of its advocacy of marriage equality.

Is it any good?


The hook is ridiculously catchy, the saxophone-based beat is fun and funky, and Macklemore breezes through rapid-fire references that will strike a chord with anyone who's ever enjoyed a secondhand store. The accompanying music video that's earned them so much buzz is gloriously goofy, with a hipster army dressed in used fur-coats and Hawaiian shirts, "your granddad's clothes."

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what makes something "go viral" as the music video for "Thrift Shop" has. Why do you think this song exploded on the Internet the way it did? What makes it so "shareable"?

  • How have people's perceptions of shopping and "thrifting" changed? Why do some teens consciously reject trendiness and homogeneity?

  • Do you think the song has a positive message? Why or why not?

Music details

Artist:Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Release date:December 28, 2012
Parental advisory:Yes
Edited version available:Yes

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  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Written byAnonymous May 31, 2013
age 9+


Macklemore shows off his rapping talent in thrift shop. There is some language and motherf***er is used 3 times in about ten seconds but it is catchy great beat and children WILL like it.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Kid, 9 years old January 28, 2013
age 13+

Watch your language, Macklemore!

Catchy but terrible for kids. He needs to watch his language. I don't get how curse words go with the theme of the song.
What other families should know
Too much consumerism
Kid, 9 years old June 15, 2015
age 18+

Thrift shop just this

We all know Macklemore being the profanity king.this song is just bad. Too much language. Language 5/5 love stuff1/5 consumerism 1/5
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Parent Written bySam Donder September 12, 2013
age 13+

Funny song has some language

This song is very funny, but has one or two lines with sexual content. If you buy the clean version this is a great song for younger teens because it says that you can be cool if your going to a thrift shop and you don't need to buy new clothes.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much sex
Too much swearing


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