Sunday, March 31, 2013

Ripped Off

“I’m gonna pop some tags / Only got twenty dollars in my pocket”

If these lines sound familiar to you because they’ve been beaten into your head in the last few months, then you know they’re from the song “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore. Ben Haggerty (Macklemore) does the rapping; a 51 year-old guy named Wanz does the catchy chorus that made the song a big hit.

Ever since I first heard high school girls singing that chorus relentlessly, I was reminded of something else — something much older from the London of my youth.

Today, I finally figured it out. The riff is from a song called “Uptown Top Ranking” by a duo, Althea and Donna, which was their only hit, reaching number one on the British singles chart in 1978. They were only 17 and 18 years old at the time.

Both songs are about dressing up in style and hitting the streets.

Haggerty probably never heard that (he was born six years after it came out), but Wanz probably did. Someone needs to collect some monies, don’t ya think?

Here’s Macklemore.

And here’s Althea and Donna.

Case closed.

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