By Henry Slater
Every time I hear someone talking about Macklemore these days, I generally hear the same thing. “He went mainstream.” “He only makes dance music now.” “His old music was so much better.”
To an extent, I agree, but let’s be reasonable. The man has worked exceptionally hard to get to where he is.
In 2005, when it was just Macklemore, not Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, his debut album “The Language of My World,” sold about 15,000 copies.
After experimenting with a number of promotional techniques, including adding his producer Ryan Lewis to his stage name, his second album, “The Heist,” released on October 9 of this year, sold almost 100,000 copies.
Such a talented person deserves the attention that he is finally getting. Macklemore has long been one of my favorite rappers, and has long gone unnoticed. It makes me happy to see him finally receive some recognition.
However, finally receiving deserved attention isn’t the only reason fans should be happy for him. “The Heist” is a historically significant album for a couple of reasons.
No one in the history of hip-hop has taken the stand in defense of marriage equality that he has. With the single, “Same Love,” comes a strong message about the social implications of homosexuality in this country. Please, point out one rapper who has done this before.
The album is also significant because Macklemore and Ryan Lewis are not signed to a record label.
Now I’m not trying to be cool and say that they’re indie, so their music is better than everything else. I’m saying that this is genuinely independent, self-recorded music that reached number one on iTunes. Please, point out one rapper who has done this before.
So, there you have it: a few good reasons not to hate on Macklemore. Do I think that his old music is better? Yes. But I think that he did what he had to do to reach a wider audience, and also get a message out.