This week proved many things, among them the fact that Justin Bieber was not the only high-profile artist ready to debut a brand new single. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis unleashed “Downtown” on the world, perhaps not stealing any attention Bieber’s “What Do You Mean?” eventually gained but nonetheless providing fans with another reason to watch the MTV Video Music Awards, thanks to a hyped-up live premiere of the song.
Naturally, “Downtown” was destined to have a certain playful quality in its choreography—this is the same pair who brought us “Thrift Shop,” after all—and sure enough, mopeds were involved, as were giant eagle chariots. So was Eric Sean Nally, the lead singer of Foxy Shazam, who added his trademark yowl-and-yelp on the chorus.
Beforehand, the rapper promised viewers that he felt like going outside when pressed for a preview of the performance, and the entirety of "Downtown" was indeed outdoors, beginning with a jaunt through an alleyway much like the music video before ending up on a stage outside the Orpheum Theatre.
Does it lack the viral potential of "Thrift Shop"? Perhaps. But you can't say the crew didn't go hard with this one.
“Downtown” kicks off buzz for Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ upcoming sophomore album and follows the release of the Ed Sheeran-featuring “Growing Up (Sloane’s Song),” a tune the rapper penned for his first (and recently born) child. Little else is known about the record, but it’s anticipated it’ll include references to Macklemore’s recent addiction woes and his turn toward sobriety, as chronicled in an interview with Complex last month.