The Real Problem With Macklemore

One of the Internet's favorite pastimes is having opinions about Macklemore. This is not because he is a particularly good or interesting rapper, but instead because he is a particularly non-good and non-interesting rapper who is extremely popular and has more money than everyone who has ever blogged about him combined. He seems to understand that he pisses people off and acts like he feels vaguely bad about it, which is even more maddening to people on who did not make "Thrift Shop". And just when you think the discourse around Macklemore has quieted down, Mr. Steal-Yo-Grampa's-Clothes tends to find a way to reinsert himself into rap's conversation, or at least finds the conversation thrust upon him.

Yesterday, we found ourselves engaged yet again in first-degree Talking About Macklemore when it came to our attention that he’d beaten out Kendrick Lamar at the Grammys for Best Rap Album, and then texted him about how he felt bad he’d beaten him, and then posted an Instagram of that text to show that he was really really sorry about it. This prompted yet another round of anti-Macklemore thinkpiecery.

Now, allow me to be clear—people who are genuinely surprised upset that Macklemore won a bunch of Grammys are fucking idiots. The Grammys, and any award ceremony on TV for that matter, are not an actual metric of the taste of young people who like good things. If they were, Gucci Mane would have a million Grammys and Killa Season would have won Best Picture in addition to going platinum, stupid. Just because Kendrick Lamar, a musician we actually like for once, was nominated for a bunch of Grammys doesn't mean they were going to magically get less shitty. "You think I give a fuck about a Grammy?" Eminem once rapped, and he was right in doing so. All awards are arbitrary just like the fact that we will all die alone.

Still, there’s this nagging, sinking feeling that comes with thinking about Macklemore’s Grammy wins. Not because he won them by circumventing the paths to traditional hip-hop stardom and then pretended to feel bad about it, or because the so-called socially progressive message of songs like “Same Love” help blind people to his privilege, even as he, himself, starts a pro-gay marriage anthem by rapping, "When I was in third grade, I thought I was gay," essentially the hella-liberal bro version of "no homo." He is annoying for these reasons, sure. But what kills people the most about Macklemore is that he's categorically fucking swagless.

He used the phrase 'turn up function' to caption an Instagram selfie he took with Miley Cyrus, which managed to siphon the swagger right out of words like 'turn up', 'function' and 'Miley Cyrus', relocating them directly to hell.

The reason people who love rap hate Macklemore is because it is embarrassing to have that dude be what adult, mainstream America thinks of when they think about hip-hop. Now, when I say "mainstream America," I don’t mean your little cousin who works at Aeropostale and gets buck at the Applebee's in Shelby, North Carolina on a Friday night. I mean your parents, your grandparents, your aunts and uncles, women with grey-blue wigs you might pass in the grocery store and pay no mind to, people with eyeballs and ears and souls who despite those eyeballs and ears and souls still have no fucking idea what rap music is. There is room enough in these people's brains for one rapper at a time to occupy their notion of "Rap Music," and because he's just won a bunch of Grammys and everyone is talking about him, right now that rapper is Macklemore. And that's fucking horrifying. It makes me want to stop caring about rap and instead listen to some shit like polka because, at this point, even accordions are less embarrassing than Macklemore.

To wrap up, here are all of the reasons why Macklemore is uncool and makes me, as a rap fan, shiver: He is an unfunny episode of Portlandia brought to life, the personification of why the well-meaning American upper-middle-class is a fucking nightmare. His favorite movie is probably An Inconvenient Truth. Saying, "I am a Macklemore fan" in a mirror three times in a row will automatically make you donate to your local 4H Club. His hair makes his head look like something you'd clean a dry erase board with. He used the phrase "turn up function" to caption an Instagram selfie he took with Miley Cyrus, which managed to siphon the swagger right out of words like "turn up", "function" and "Miley Cyrus", relocating them directly to hell. The face he uses in his said selfies is the sort of smug, self-satisfied grin that just begs to be punched off of someone's fucking face. Macklemore sucks because he tries to take hip-hop and make it goofy, fun and family-friendly, but does so in a way that makes it seem like he's making fun of it. He sucks because we shouldn’t even have to debate whether or not he sucks because he shouldn’t exist. He sucks because he seems like a nice guy, but he also sucks because meaning well can only get you so far. He sucks because his music is wild corny and makes him seem like he's really into Reddit. He sucks because in the face of all his success he has only paid lip service to the idea that he might have become successful by taking advantage of the fact that he is white and good looking, and this gives everyone the sneaking suspicion that he just might suck because he is disingenuous and not actually worried about his privilege.

And really, why should Macklemore be contritious about his fame and success? He has millions of dollars and a bunch of Grammys, and we have zero dollars and zero Grammys because those things don’t exist when you hold the moral high ground. All we have to cling to is our precious coolness, something Macklemore gave up long ago on the road to fame and fortune. We are cool, Macklemore is not, this is fucking awesome.

Drew Millard wrote this while drinking sake on a Suzuki in Osaka Bay. You can read more of his work over at Noisey and follow him on Twitter here.

  • ash

    You’re probably the same person who was on his pre-XXL-Freshman dick.

  • M&RL

    poverty article

  • Mackle No More?

    Damn, you’re a hater.
    Don’t get it wrong, I’m not a Macklemore fan but that second to last paragraph is some vile shit.

    Truth is, Hip Hop is a 30 plus year old genre, and as you said the edges ARE blurry now. And the Grammys are a god damn joke so no one should be that butt hurt about Kendrick Lamar not winning. I bet Kendrick isn’t. Right now he knows all of America feels he deserved to ‘win’… Right now he knows most of America feel he’s the best rapper out.

    ADDENDUM: it’s kind of weird that because Macklemore is white, or any rapper is white is still considered a problem. Yes, Hip Hop began as a black art form many, many, years ago…So why does that mean it’s only allowed to be performed by one ethnicity for the rest of time? Macklemore is not really a modern day Elvis stealing Rock n Roll from it’s black roots.

  • KnowledgeOfSelf

    Personally, I think Macklemore is talented, which makes me more accepting of some of his misguided decisions. Also, I’m a young, straight, white man, which probably contributes…Otherwise, this article is spot-on, particularly the part about Killa Season.

    As for the criticism in the comments, it’s pretty clear that there is a severe misunderstanding of where Hip Hop came from, what it will always be at it’s core, and how Macklemore’s fame and popularity directly undermine (maybe unintentionally..) those things. He’s in a tough position though, because of course the white gate keepers are going to thrust any young, straight, white male with a modicum of talent into the spotlight over any minority.

    • Hollywood Nicky

      “…Of course the white gate keepers are going to thrust any young, straight, white male with a modicum of talent into the spotlight over any minority.”

      • notracist

        Thats a little harsh. So many people have pre-conceived notions that whites only support whites. Keep telling yourself that and you will be blinded by hate for the rest of your life. Reverse racism is real. Just enjoy your 200 year free pass. Your great grandchildren will eventually stop complaining and us whites won’t be held accountable for the sins of our great grandparents. Btw- there are more sex slaves in America today than there were black slaves in the 1800′s. They won’t get free college rides in 20 years, bet.

        • Thatguy25

          You say this as it’s so easy to get a free ride to college. Or even that easy to accept it. Maybe if you weren’t so blind by the pre-conceived notion that being Black gets you a free ride to college, you’d be happier. I was supposed to go to college with half my tuition paid for by an academic scholarship and the other paid for by financial aid. I also applied for other scholarships and school scholarships. Now may I not know who won the scholarships that were not through my school, I do know all but one award at my school was won by White people. And the one girl who did win the scholarship was a half White/half Black girl. I had a higher GPA than her, participated in more extracurricular, lettered and went to states in my sports(track and cross country) and she had lettered once in tennis. She admitted my scholarship essay was better than hers as I proofread it and we were dating at the time she won the scholarship. To this day, I don’t know why I didn’t win a single scholarship. I won’t blame it on race, but to say it’s that easy for us is ridiculous.

          Also, what about the kids who can’t go to school. Have to get a job directly after college. I did. I missed my first semester after high school rejected that ‘free ride’ I worked so hard for. Graduating 3rd in my class while playing sports and being a state runner with a 4.47 GPA. But it was a ‘free ride’. My dad went to jail and mom couldn’t pay for all the bills because she was supporting me, my brother, sister, brother in law and nephew, while taking care of bills my dad left. You could call me an exception but these are things me and my Black friends talked about and got looked down on for when we were graduating. People heard some of us wouldn’t be going to college, we were losers for having to support our families. Looking after the people who took care of us for 18-19 years. We were losers. We weren’t taking advantage of that ‘free ride’ that white people keep assuming we get.

          Maybe there are free rides. But they aren’t as plentiful as you think and as easy to take advantage of unless you’re willing to leave your family behind and let them suffer. I don’t regret helping my mom out instead of starting school right away. Took a year off and got right back at it. Had to take out a loan the first year and then worked hard for a scholarship while maintaining the dean’s list and then applied for grants and scholarships. I found some that covered most of my tuition and worked to cover the rest while still helping around the house.

          I don’t know what you think life is like for us Black people. But it’s not peaches and cream like you seem to think. No sex slaves may not get a free ride to college, but if people thought in a more progressive way we might find a way to help them out after we find and save them instead of holding them as a standard towards a people that were previously oppressed for 200 years.

        • thib

          free college rides isnt the only thing your ancesters owe black americans i promise you that lol

  • pat

    relax bro, dont you have anything better to do? oh no its your job to bitch about things

  • Luchini

    This is such bullshit.
    The fact that everybody choses to focus on ONE FUCKING SONG and the fact that he is white is just idiotic. Macklemore has become an overnight success, but he’s not some idiot who jumped on the hip hop bandwagon or created some formulaic shit with the goal of getting rich. If you look at any of Macklemores VAST catalogue (he has been doing this for a long ass time) you’ll find that every album he has done has had a “Thrift Shop” type song where he is just fucking around and having fun (stay at home dad, and then we danced etc), the real problem here is that America is so fucking stupid that they latched onto this parody song.
    Anybdody who truly knows hip hop (not just fucking blog bullshit – Gucci Mane? For. FUCKING. REAL?!?!) can appreciate what Macklemore has done and still does. If anybody can listen to “crew cuts” or “keep ya head up” and not appreciate it then I feel really fucking sorry for you.

    • Marc

      nah.

    • Yep

      See: Wing$’ message coupled with its use for TNT’s All-Star Weekend. He is an absolute sell-out.

      • Luchini

        So a song is made like 2 years prior, then he suddenly has a surprise hit (without a major label) and is receiving offers from all over for all kinds of things and he’s being offered money to have his art played at a huge event that will reasonably make millions more people curious to his other songs and back catalog, and that’s “selling” out?
        He’d been making music for over a decade, releasing shit on his own and touring the country playing in shitty bars for 50 people barely making rent and you get offered money and an opportunity to play your music for millions of people and potentially start fulfilling your dreams of eating of rap. Think about it.
        So RJD2 sold out for letting Honda (or whatever car co it was) play his tracks in their commericals? Pretty sure DJ Shadow has had some commercial plays as well. Or Kendrick Lamar using a commercial (beats by dre) as a platform to tease a song?
        I’m not even saying it’s right necessarily, just that music has changed and if you want to be successful you need to explore every avenue possible to get people to listen to you, let alone PAY for the album.

    • cozyKev

      ha ha

  • hate?

    So you’re black and you’re mad hes white

    • Je_Suis_Camille

      Its not a race issue here. You couldnt say the same thing about Eminem, you know why? Because Em is actually talented…

  • sorrynotsorry

    wait….. you think gucci mane is a “good” rapper? hahah holy shit i feel sorry for you. and that you have like 3 pages of bullshit to type about the grammys. get off mainstreams dick and start listening to real music

    • shouldbesorry

      Learn to read(properly).

  • Carver Low

    Serious question, does the author WANT all his geriatric, middle-aged, and otherwise yuppified relatives knowing what ‘real’ hip hop is? Do we want them in murdered out loafers and leather-sweaters riding their moto-carts through the grocery story in Kenosha, Wisconsin, talking about how disappointing Joey Bada$$ is?

    I don’t.

    • John Cale

      Exactly. I know it’s the most “hipsterish” thing to say, but I don’t give a shit; I don’t WANT most people to know about a lot of the good stuff out there. It poisons the well.

  • Ghost of Jam Master Jay

    I think this article is on point. The appeal of rap is that it describes people “from the other side of the tracks,” as Eminem said in Ice T’s documentary, “Something from Nothing.” The appeal of rap music is about facing adversity, facing challenges, the struggle, the grind, whatever, OVERCOMING it, then stunting on people who never thought that’d be possible.

    Historically rap was a black art form, as blacks (and many other minorities) are much more disadvantaged in American society. Now, rap is still predominantly a “black art,” but there are white rappers who’ve established a footing in the industry for two reasons: 1. they’re lyrically gifted, and people will respect talent, no matter the color; and, 2. they’re from the same type of background as many other rappers. Eminem is appealing because he’s a good rapper but also because he overcame a lot of adversity, in much the same way Jay-Z, Biggie, Tupac, etc. had to do.

    Like Drew said, Macklemore is what mainstream America thinks about when they hear the words “hip-hop.” Is Macklemore a fine artist? Sure, I’ll give him credit in that respect. But if choosing between defining him as a rapper or a pop artist, he’s much more pop-oriented. Just because you rhyme some words over a beat doesn’t inherently make you a rapper. So to me, and I think to many others, the issue is that Macklemore won Rap Album of the Year when he really wasn’t deserving of that specific title. Kendrick Lamar is a rapper, and thus was a better candidate to win in the rap category. Their styles and backgrounds are different, and put them in different categories. The fact that Macklemore won is perhaps reflective of the fact that white America is still not entirely comfortable with accepting this “black art,” and so they latch onto white artists, even if they don’t properly fit the category. Perhaps not. I realize I’m generalizing quite a bit here, but this is the comments section on tha Pinz after all, not my senior thesis.

    Finally, give me a fucking break with this humblebrag bullshit by posting that text on Instagram. If Kendrick posted Macklemore’s text, that’s one thing. But to post the text yourself only reassures that, to some degree, Macklemore actually does recognize that he didn’t deserve the award. And that he wants everyone to know he’s a really nice guy.

    • Luchini

      Saying Macklemore is not a rapper is the dumbest shit I’ve ever heard. What the fuck is he if he’s not a rapper?
      I dunno even know why I’m defending him so much, It’s coming off like I’m his biggest fan or some shit but I’m just dumbstruck at the idiocy involved in this “Argument” and all the rationalizing people are making.
      Kendrick Lamar is a rapper. Macklemore is a rapper. The Grammy’s are an authority on NOTHING.
      You know who votes on Grammy’s? People who don’t know shit about anything, it’s based on name recognition. Mack is more popular than Lamar, so he won. It doesn’t matter.
      What does matter is all the people making ridiculous arguments as to why who won and who didn’t and what makes somebody a rapper and what doesn’t. Just stop.

      • Howle

        You sound like one wack fucking human right now my dude.

        • Luchini

          And I give a fuck too, “my dude”.

          • Ghost of Jam Master Jay

            I’d say he’s a pop artist my man, in the same way I consider Flo Rida or Pitbull to have mainstream success as pop artists. And although I agree that Grammys aren’t true barometers of success in music, like Drew said above, the Grammys tend to define music for a lot of people. So for middle America to appropriate rap and give Macklemore a Grammy is like slapping true rap fans in the dick (all racial arguments aside). JMJ out!

          • House Nigga

            Grammy’s are part of history though

      • RapOrHipHop?

        There’s a necessary distinction between Rap & Hip Hop, which most white people, and a number of black artists themselves refuse to acknowledge, but I always thought Shaheen Ariefdien put it well:

        “Like Mozart, or whatever..they might use [stringed instruments] in a classical piece. Now Britney Spears happens to do a ballade that uses strings – that doesn’t make it classical music. Similarly, if you hear this rap thing on radio, it doesn’t make it Hip Hop just because you have this [sound effect] beat thingy and all this *kak* and then all of a sudden you have this rap verse, or something like that, and all of a sudden it’s Hip Hop…”

        In other words, Justin Beiber is just as much of a rapper (though far less talented) as Macklemore, but he is not a “rapper” in the context of Hip Hop (i.e. an MC). He is a popular musical artist…

        • Themba Searles

          THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RAP AND HIP HOP THEY ARE THE SAME THING. People like to subcategorize the genre so they can feel high and mighty bumpin Lupe Fiasco and also look down on the Waka Flocka fans at the same damn time.

          Shmecklemore and Kendrick Lamar are both rappers. Everyone knows the Grammys are not the authority on hip-hop/rap music (fuck this synonymous bullshit) and nobody should be surprised.

          • Brian Andrew Smith

            there is a big difference between rap and hip hop. rap is just a component of the greater thing that is hip hop. Rapping, breaking, graffiti writing, and turntablism. Its only simps like you that cannot distinguish the difference.

          • Themba Searles

            you’re absolutely right. I rescind my previous statement. but there shouldn’t be a hierarchy of the value of rap.

          • Chris Williams

            As KRS-ONE said: “Rap is something you do, Hip-Hop is something you live.”

          • Jesse Manderson

            RAP is a genre of music. HIP HOP is a lifestyle. Macklemore sucks at both.

          • Casper

            You’re an idiot. Rap is a form of delivery. Hip Hop is a culture and a movement.
            You can use rap as your method of delivery without implementing hip hop (see Pitbull, Flo Rida etc). In the same way that hip hop music doesn’t have to implement rapping.

          • mind and soul

            rap IS the music for the culture of hip hop

          • John Ryan

            Calling mackelmore a rapper is like calling pitbull or iggy a rapper. C, they are more than rap. They are truly Crap.

      • Fresh360

        Macklemore isn’t a rapper in the same vein that Pitbull isn’t a rapper. They both put rhyming words together but at the same time the audeince is more ‘Pop’. In no way am I trying to take away from Macklemore’s success, he worked hard and he deserves the accolades he received, but when you turn on your local ‘HipHop’ station it is quite possible you may never hear a Macklemore song. Furthermore the Rap Committe of the Grammys were not going to allow Macklemore in as a nominee instead wanted to place him in the Pop category (which I think would have been fair) but their suggestion was overridden. So when bloggers have a hard time viewing Macklemore as a rapper, they are not alone.

        http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/grammys-macklemore-almost-cut-rap-673628

        • Luchini

          OK, in this case I agree with what people are saying to some extent. And I understand it. But I still feel that most of these conclusions are being drawn on 2-3 songs. If you listen to Crew Cuts, it’s apparent he’s an MC. If you listen to the Heist album as a whole it is apparent that he is an MC, not a pop artist. BUT, I will definitely agree that since Ryan Lewis has come along Mack’s sound has taken a much more commercial turn.

      • DD

        Hes not a rapper. Hes the male version of Kesha.

        • mind and soul

          you ever heard of the Language of My World?

          • DD

            Fuck i look like?

        • John Ryan

          Great analogy, haha

      • Je_Suis_Camille

        On the spectrum of Rarpers and singers who speaking with a fast cadence, I would put Mackalmore closer to Kesha than I would ever put him near Kendrick.

      • Ron Mexico

        I put Macklemore in the same category as Pitbull and Flo-Rida. Yes, they’re rapping, but would you consider their music rap? Nah, pop. Just because you rap over a pop beat I wouldn’t consider it rap.

      • manny

        No way is mackle whatever his name is more popular than Kendrick. Albums sales count for fuck in the rap industry he was just a white guy who released some commercially digestible rubbish and other white guys went on itunes and bought it and the fuckfaces at the Grammys saw the numbers and picked him without looking at all the albums considering delivery, production and lyrical content

      • beastwork

        kesha raps to huh? how about Baby bash. I think I’ve heard prince rap on a song also. Rap doesn’t necessarily mean hip hop, if the raps aren’t steeped and rooted in the culture. having said all that Mackelmore is in fact a rapper. He should not have won best album of the year. The grammy’s have lost my faith and have been losing it for years. I know longer give a shit about watching that awards show.

      • RELIGIOUSLESS

        LUCHINI POURING FROM THE SKY LETS GET RICH HAH!!!!!

      • realvsreal

        you really just reffered to them as “mack” and “Lamar”

    • DD

      But thing people are leaving out of this convo is BARS. Mac doesnt have Bars. For all of the mainstream appeal and riding this homosexual wave to trophies, the true injustice is that the Gramms disregard the value of crafting skillful lyrics. Thats why we have so many BS rappers.

    • Alex Breuer

      Dear Ghost of Jam Master Jay, I literally signed up for four pins so I could tell you how refreshing your comment was. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

      • Ghost of Jam Master Jay

        Hey thanks man.

    • PdxTony

      Has any of the rap community really considered the Grammy as a make it moment?
      your criteria is interesting What about rappers who were rich already and didnt have the background of adversity you are referring to? You can easily do a bit of research and find the names. lets just say that Some of the most historic rappers ever were not coming from situations that were that adverse. people are reading way to much into an instagram, tweet, facebook, vine post today.
      people need to visit WA and CO and smoke up.

    • SpaceManSpliffz .

      Are you retarded?

  • laterhater

    The problem with your argument is that you are inconsistent in the fundamental reason that you discredit him as an artist. Is it because he grew up privileged and has not had to overcome the hardship that is historically associated with successful artists in the hip hop community? Or are you arguing that he lacks talent because of the content of his material? He isn’t a white boy from seattle that rhymes about growing up in harlem, so you can’t exactly claim he lacks authenticity or credibility. And why do you say that he is immoral?

    “He sucks because in the face of all his success he has only paid lip service to the idea that he might have become successful by taking advantage of the fact that he is white and good looking, and this gives everyone the sneaking suspicion that he just might suck because he is disingenuous and not actually worried about his privilege.
    And really, why should Macklemore be contritious about his fame and success? He has millions of dollars and a bunch of Grammys, and we have zero dollars and zero Grammys because those things don’t exist when you hold the moral high ground.”

    Is it because he is successful in an industry that is generally not populated by people of his socioeconomic background? Is he therefore taking away from others that “deserve” success because they fit the stereotype of a hip hop artist? That doesn’t seem fair. Is it immoral for a person who is 5 foot 7 to be drafted into the NBA while the 7 foot tall guy next to him gets the boot? Is the smaller man taking away a position on the team that rightfully should go to the taller man? No. You seem pissed because he is doing well and pissed because he doesn’t fit the criteria that you have assigned to someone who deserves to be successful in the hip hop sphere. I think that is ridiculous. He is a brand and a he has done an incredible job of developing himself into a successful brand, regardless of how corny his lyrics can be. His brand isn’t gangster rap, and he never claimed it was. He is a mainstream hip hop artist that appeals to a lot of people. He isn’t trying to be Gucci Mane or Young Jeezy but that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be recognized as someone with talent.

    I don’t even like Macklemore all that much, but you need to broaden your perspective or come up with a more thoughtful argument.

    • Olerud_4_Life

      Stop. Please. More deserving white artists/rappers should be considered than him, if were going to make a race issue, which does have something to do with his rise but isnt the end-all-be-all. Have you listened to RA the Rugged Man. He is supremely more talented than Macklemore and raps about way more relevant and actually poignant topics than the safe fight that now everyone wants to fight when its safe to do so. RA rapped about Gulf War Syndrome…Are you kidding me? Macklemore is not edgy, or progressive. And he isnt that talented so please stop. Has nothing to do with gangsta rap, which a lot of people dismiss nowadays, cuz the ones who still rap like that arent getting noticed (Progidys Albert Einstein is one of the best produced albums this year and no one picked it up). Most of the things that macklemore purports are bs.

      - He isnt truly independent. Although ADA is so called independent and the label he is signed to, its under WMG and has been distributed as a major once his Thrift Shop video got hot
      - ADA marketed him as a Pop artist not a rap artist, as they knew he wouldnt be accepted right away amongst rap stations with a pop hit like Thrift Shop until he became big. Wonder why rap stations did not play thrift shop, or even the other song (name escapes me right now for some reason) or even Same Love
      - Macklemores more rap isnt edgy. And he stole his beat from Thrift Shop from another rapper, who is gay (believe his name is Lea1f or something). Macklemore picked a topic, which is quite popular as even moderate republicans are pushign for gay marriage. If this was 1990 era, then yea you could say hes edgy, but that also assume there were other gay rappers rapping about the subject. The only reason why its seems so ‘poignant’ now is because its making money and is the popular subject. Speaking on that…
      - Hip Hop is not homophobic. It just focuses on issues and desires that target audience enjoys. Hip Hop doesnt shun gay rappers, as gay rappers have a lane and a niche. Doesnt mean that hip hop doesnt allow it. Queen Latifah is gay and has a production deal with VH1…no one is shunning or disrespecting her.

      Macklemore isnt that talented or edgy or as independent as we think. THere are many white rappers such as RA the rugged man and Action Bronson who are more talented than Macklemore. Many factors have come together which explain Macklemores rise in popularity, and very few of them have to do with this esoteric, humble rise of a talented artist.

      • laterhater

        I think you missed my point, but that’s cool. I’ll have to check out RA the Rugged Man, he sounds dope. Good looks

  • Kid A

    Why is everyone getting so upset over the Grammys? The award show has always been bullshit, like many others have already stated. The Grammys are a celebration of music as a business, not as an art. In this regard, Mackelmore deserves all the awards he won; he made a widely successful song (in terms of popularity) and an album that made millions of dollars. Many people have done far worse for their money and recieve less criticism.
    Why would “true” rap fans care about the Grammys? The rappers certainly don’t.

    • Lauren L T Taylor

      i totally agree. i would be less apt to listen to a grammy winner these days. winning a grammy today is basically saying “yay! i sold out! now millions of teeny boppers and grannies know my music!”

  • Lashman

    Mehh this just sounds like a hate post. Rubbish argument.

  • whiteboooi

    Awesome article

  • Andrew Cotter

    SOOOOOOOOOOSOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO I’m gonna assume based on how immediately everyone spotted your angry bullshit, you won’t be rushing headfirst into terrible assumptions and shoving them down peoples throat’s anymore, si?

    • J.P.

      Lol someone is new.

  • Kyle Aja

    How many Mack. songs have you even heard bro? You bash a guy on two songs in your whole article. Pretty embarrassing for you that you would write an article on a guy you have no clue about personally or professionally. Next time have a listen to the whole works then come at me with an opinion. This article makes you sound dumb.

    • GetOverIt

      I AGREE 100%! Your entire article, as while as your grammar, show that you have no business being a writer if you’re not willing to do the adequate amount of research, or have your articles proofread. And I wouldn’t have even made this comment if not for the fact I’m following the same ridicolous logic you are with this article.

      • GetOverIt

        As well as your grammar * (that’s what I get for following that type of logic, and not proofreading!)

  • Grimbus

    He’s lame because… because he’s lame. Got it.

  • nkem

    It’s either a white or white & relatable thing when it comes to the Grammy’s and The American Music Awards. If Macklemore wasn’t nominated, then who would have won? Probably Eminem (you know how they love digging him up and dumping awards on him). The thing to pay attention to is the 2014 rap game. See where Macklemore will end up at it’s end, and whether he will nominated for a 2015 Grammy for a song that more than likely wouldn’t blow like these two famous hits. Oh, right, and he’ll probably be nominated, and win, while we all scratch our heads think “damn. I didn’t even know he had a song out.”

  • Krunch

    “because the so-called socially progressive message of songs like “Same Love” help blind people to his privilege, even as he, himself, starts a pro-gay marriage anthem by rapping”

    The song does not help blind people to his privilege. Those who do not acknowledge his privilege have been blind prior to the release of the song. To many, the song screams privilege.

    “He sucks because in the face of all his success he has only paid lip service to the idea that he might have become successful by taking advantage of the fact that he is white and good looking, and this gives everyone the sneaking suspicion that he just might suck because he is disingenuous and not actually worried about his privilege.”

    Macklemore has taken advantage of the fact that he is white. But guess what, so has Eminem, Justin Timberlake, and Louis C.K. Being a successful white male in the entertainment industry means you have taken advantage of your whiteness. In fact, being a successful white male in ANYTHING means you have used your privilege is some sort of fashion.

    So really, the reason you hate Macklemore is because of a) you don’t like his music, b) you don’t like what you assume he is like as a person (similar to how people feel about Kanye). I have a feeling it’s a bit of both but A LOT more of “b”. So you just wrote a whole article based off an emotion you got from an instagram picture description. That’s fuckin lame.

    How about breaking down the intersections of race, gender, and sexual preference bias’ prevalent in the Grammys? Maybe the straight savior complex? Hating on Macklemore is about as mainstream as praising him right now. It’s easy to do, it’s very surface level, and it’s a distraction from real problems. As a journalist, step your game up.

  • disqus_UPsuQIrQs1

    Holy fuck you complex magazine reading idiots need to get the fuck off of four-pins, fuccboi central round here got damn…

  • MattyB

    Haters gon’ hate.

  • Shaniqua Choice

    Yeah the trouble with being different from the mainstream nonsense….black artists get shit on.

  • 89437

    “We are cool, Macklemore is not, this is fucking awesome.”

    Best way you could have ended the article. Nice.

  • internet

    “Drew Millard wrote this while drinking sake on a Suziki in Osaka Bay.” God you fucking suck.

  • adubdebako

    all these dudes who are like “Hey buddy, don’t be a meanie to Macklemore he’s a real swell guy” have me dying laughing. Claiming that if others “knew real hip hop” we would know this and that about Macklemore….bottom line is that if you claim that you love hip hop and don’t hate the fact that Nas, Kendrick and the rest of em’ don’t even have ONE grammy and this dude has multiples and you don’t feel that these Grammy awards are BLATANTLY fucking with Hip Hop. But you Macklemore fans are probably used to getting disrespected….

    • Luchini

      Really though. You’re talking about the Grammy’s. It’s a popularity contest and Macklemore is popular. If you walked in to your local grocery store and gave a ballot to the first 1,000 people that walked through the door asking them who had the best rap album this year – Mack or K Dot – don’t you think Macklemore would win in a landslide? Simply cos most “normal” people wouldn’t know who kendrick lamar is but the vast majority would know what Thrift Shop is. That is essentially the voting process that the Grammy’s use. Rappers don’t really care because they know this. It would be awesome to win, cos winning is awesome, but if you don’t win it doesn’t really “mean” anything.

  • Steve

    the author of this piece is a complete fucking idiot…why do you hire these people to write shit articles on here four-pins? i used to come on here to actually read the posts..now i get on here to see how much of a fucking idiot these writers make themselves out to be

  • Fuzz

    All Rappers in the Game think Kendrick is the Best Rapper. Hands Down. He is. Mack won because his audience is way bigger than Kendricks. Not that hard to understand. His album is good tho. Anybody who says he didn’t put work into creating a very catchy album is stupid. It was not just one hit, it was multiple hits. It received way more, and I mean way more, commercial success than the Good Kid. This is the GRAMMYs were talking about, they dont get shit right a lot.

    Grammy wins:

    Macklemore: 4
    Tupac: 0
    Notorious BIG: 0
    Led Zeppelin: 0
    Jimi Hendrix: 0
    Bob Marley: 0
    Snoop Dogg: 0
    Beach Boys: 0
    The Who: 0

    Kendrick is still the best new artist.

    Dont worry hip hop.

    • Black Hippy

      AB-Soul would Crush Kendrick any day. Although your Grammy wins list proves alot.

  • http://westcoastkeish.com/ WestCoast Keish

    I didn’t even know Macklemore was white until I saw him on SNL a couple of months ago. I always thought he was along the lines of LMFAO. But I’ve never taken him seriously as an artist, like a lot of other people. I don’t even know who buys his music. Middle school girls perhaps?

  • Octo

    Wow I’m surprised by the amount of hate towards Macklemore. Yes Kendrick is a better artist, and yes, if the Grammy’s were fully based on hip-hop as an art then he would have won it. But have most of you listened to all of Macklemore’s work. GKMC > Heist, but some of Macklemore’s songs are really powerful and not just talking about his penis, or the thrift shop.

    This article seems extremely biased and one sided. Yea we all have oppinions but as a writer you didn’t even seem to consider both sides, and your article seemed like a safe write. One that would “satisfy” the Kendrick Lamar fans, and make you look like you are an expert on the matter. Listen to some of Macklemore’s other stuff (B-boy, or otherside is a good place to start) and please write an article that not only shows your oppinon, but one that isn’t just you slamming a new artist for a couple songs that you didn’t like.

  • Smart

    Donate to your local 4H club??? Really??? Leave good organizations like this out. You’re just filling in the gaps for your serious lack of writing skills. Anyone can have an opinion, but you’re embarrassing yourself with this article.

  • BRUHbrehBRUH

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INNCxVpGpyU

    Macklemore is conscious of his privilege within the “hip hop community”. He sucks because he’s cognoscente of it and is still exploiting it, which just makes him a shitty person.

  • WOW

    WHO PISSED IN YOUR SAKE BOMB BRO?

  • DrewFillard

    Shut the fuck up Drew, your life is based around writing articles about people in rap and hip-hop, a genre your not even sure that you like and you have the audacity to criticize every aspect of it. Go listen to polka and write about that bullshit. Without writing about Macklemore’s wildly successful ride you wouldn’t even have a job. Face the facts Eminem nor Macklemore really give a shit about your overall opinion. My best guest is that you used to write rhymes and think you could be involved in the industry and this is where you ended up. Bitter.

    As for Ghost of Jam Master Jay, dude your first paragraph accurately describes how Macklemore made an impact in this industry. He came from nothing, an independent rapper on an independent label from Seattle, Washington became the face of hip-hop FOR THE MOMENT. Moments are fleeting, it’s 2014 and it’s absolutely okay for people to think of it as “what hip-hop is” because for the moment it’s true.

  • seuss

    What a stupid fucking article. Wow. The hate is so fucking real.

  • Jay Ross

    so much butthurt on one article. I’m not a macklemore fan but so what if he’s successful.. it doesn’t downgrade hip hop. its just one dude. And who judges the grammys anyway?.. no one cares

  • It’s a race thing

    If you think Macklemore is ruining rap and someone like lil Wayne or Kanye aren’t, then you’re an idiot. Idiot.

    • mi

      kanye? KANYE? KANYE MOTHERFUCKING WEST HAS THREE STONE COLD CLASSICS. HE CONTINUES TO MAKE GREAT MUSIC. SHUT YOUR BITCH ASS UP AND BOW DOWN TO LORD YEEZUS.

    • HatersGonnaHate

      I disagree with the Kanye thing, but agree with the Macklemore not ruining rap, at all. If ANYTHING, he’s opened more minds to it. And forget about what he’s doing for gay rights, he’s probably saved so many people. Believe it or not, your brother/sister could be gay, a cousin, your kid, being gay myself, I know what it’s like to feel alone at a young age (at 27 now obviously I’m okay with it as is my family), but it gets really complicated and tough, and could really fuck you up. I’d feel a lot more confident and comfortable with myself had I been 14 in 2014, and he really pushed the movement for a lot of that.

  • tupac

    the actual eminem lyric is “you think i give a damn about a grammy?”.

  • Schmeeboo

    Wow! This is article #84 of “Hate on Macklemore” week by Complex and Four Pins. If you think he’s so “wack”, stop writing (promoting) about him.

  • Tony

    Personally, I enjoyed Macklemore’s earlier music, before he became ultra famous (around 2006-2007). It felt a lot more “real” to me I guess, now I can’t stand the music he makes, but who cares? Obviously he’s doing something right – otherwise his music wouldn’t sell.

    The author of this article is such a whiny bitch that his hatred almost inspires me to enjoy Macklemore again.

  • BRL

    This is the stupidest thing I’ve ever read , I was listening to macklemore before he was so fucking popular and he has dope songs , songs with a FUCKING MESSAGE , songs that are not about how fucking rich I am , how many cars I have , how I popped a molly last weekend or how thug I am . And seriously “swaggless” , this dude raps about buying shit that are actually cool and accesible not simple ass clothes that are worth 5 times more than it should. I agree that now he’s wearing this type of clothing but that’s because his has money now , and any simple man that cares about the way he look will do that . Maybe he shuldn’t won 4 grammys , maybe he shouldn’t apologize that much , but if it’s str8 about his music , at least he’s got a message , a positive on , listen to songs like “otherside” and tell me that’s not hiphop …

  • Harris McCord
  • Alpha

    This is such a load of bias uneducated CROCK. Is it just me, or did it seem like no one disliked Macklemore till a group of old people voted him for an Emmy? He isn’t a particularly interesting rapper??? NIGGA, please explain to me any rapper who could make being so broke that you have to buy your clothes at a thrift shop a world wide sensation? Who else could preach gay rights so hard it became a single as a RAP song? Do you even know his damn history??? Macklemorre been putting out music since 2005 and believed in himself so hard he didn’t stop even after being told. A billion time to just give up even through his drug addiction he kicked if you heard anything other than his damn radio singles. What about wing$ that talk absolutely how nike and shoe companies are getting rich off our dreams and our heroes? What about neon cathedral and the bar being a church to confess for some? And what about the fact that he turned down every single god damn major label that wanted to get rich off them? Say what the FUck u want about Macklemore but this nigga keeps it real 100% of the time and has put in more than enough work for what he’s gotten. Nice job, complex for jumping on the media “I hate Macklemore train”.

  • Big Rob

    Who the fuck is Macklemore?

  • that guys

    wow….what a stupid srticle. To say he’s not a rapper just because he dosnen’t fit raps mainstream tradional idea of a rapper is just bullshit.

  • Sabb9th

    Kendrick got robbed but there is different degrees of rap and middle class Americans are not going to relate to a black kid from Compton. Turn Up and Function belong in hell with the idea that saying someone can’t rap when they apparently can and basing their whole rap persona on one song out of entire album.

  • bee

    Drinking sake on a Suzuki in Osaka Bay! I luv it. One of my favorite Cam’ron lines.

  • trdegreenia .

    I saw Macklemore live at Bonnaroo as far as live performances go he was one of the best rappers there and he was headlining with Nas and Wu-tang Clan, and Kendrick Lamar. Now Nas is my favorite rapper of all time but I still think Macklemore set was better. I picked up his Album and to be honest I don’t think its better than “Good Kid M.A.A.D City” but it is a great album it own right. I think he is getting a lot of hate because his songs “Same love” and Thrift Shop” are getting shoved down every ones throat. I don’t see how people can say hes not a talented rapper

  • pickaname

    who is kendrick lamar outside united states? macklemore was everywhere last year. us, europe, asia , you name it.

    • mi

      um the good kid maad city world tour maybe?

  • aleida

    “We’re cool, you’re not”. Great argument, my friend.

    I admit I know nothing about rap music, as a white European girl it has never appealed me particularly. However, I do like Macklemore because he’s different and refreshing. I think it’s very narrow-minded to claim what he does is not hip hop just because it doesn’t fit your standards, music genres are nohing but a simple way to classify.

    An artist who uses his privileged position in order to support gay marriage deserves my respect much more than someone who only speaks about cars and women.

    • See C

      “I admit I know nothing about rap music” but yet you like Macklemore “because he’s different and refreshing”, as opposed to what you call “Someone who only speaks about cars and women”. You’re right, you really don’t know anything besides what you’ve heard on the radio during the mid2000s.

      Its not simply he doesn’t fit the author’s standards for Hip-Hop, being rejected continuously by a large contingent of the Hip-Hop community and simultaneously claiming that you’re genuinely part of it at every chance possible doesn’t sit well. Genres are more complicated than that, while anyone with half of a brain doesn’t give a fuck about who wins, those who don’t understand that the Grammy’s are a popularity contest (a lot of people) now have Macklemore in their head when they think about “The best rap album” and the other awards he won. It’s not “just a genre”, if you think so you’re quite wrong.

      • aleida

        Just to clarify: a) I feel Macklemore sounds different from other rappers I’ve listened to b) you can’t deny there’s this profile of “cars and women” rapper, I cannot see how someone can accept that and criticise Macklemore’s message at the same time

        About the genre thing, I probably don’t understand this sense of “Hip-Hop community”, as the artists I normally listen to fluctuate between genders or mix them all the time. In my opinion, that only enriches the music.

        • See C

          I’m not going to argue with you about your stereotype of a “cars and women” rapper, you can believe what you want. The fact that you chose to typify a rapper like that shows your lack of respect for the genre to begin with.

          Instead of “someone who only speaks about cars and women”, try “someone who condemns gang violence and examines the motivations behind societal drinking problems”(Kendrick Lamar), or “someone who exposes raw abivalence to fame while recalling nostalgia from past romantic endeavors”(Drake), or “someone who articulates the power and influence of large corporations over the pubic’s taste and money”(Kanye West), or “someone who’s rise to wealth enabled an introspective analysis of interpersonal royalties”(Jay-Z), the forementioned artists being rappers that Macklemore won the Grammy for “Best Rap Album” over.

          The way you typified rap through your crude description is gross in itself, but more problematically, its a startling microcosm of the role of Macklemore within Hip-Hop, where people who know nothing about the culture and music make statements like “he’s different and refreshing” and therefore its “narrow-minded” of those who actually enjoy, understand, and participate in Hip-Hop culture to reject Macklemore, and that it automatically enriches the music because he is “different and refreshing”.

          While that’s not specifically what you said, people outside of Hip-Hop associating this “different and refreshing” face with the genre is what many who reject ultimately don’t want, but due to the farce that is the Grammy’s, may become reality.

          • IsWhatItIs

            I agree with a lot of what you’re saying, but I don’t think that’s what she was saying….and you know Jay-Z did have a huge mainstream breakthrough with “Big Pimpin,” (which is my least favorite Jay-Z song ever, and I’m a HUGE Jay-Z fan). Mainstream America mostly plays the songs about girls and cars, and I can’t fuken stand it, but it is what it is. Mainstream America doesn’t care about the genre of rap….they know what they’re given. I don’t want hip-hop to be cars money hoes, but for a LOT of mainstream America, that’s what it is. Wouldn’t you it rather be someone like Macklemore? His album is really inspiring and amazing, just because he’s not in every rap fan’s definition of rap, doesn’t mean that’s not what it is. I’m a HUGE rap AND hip-hop fan who grew up in Brooklyn where I listened to rap all my life and I think he’s an incredibly talented rapper, with inspiring messages, and has the potential to open the doors to expand the genre, maybe not as much as Eminem, but that’s why you have the mainstream and the niche, right? I know tons of people who don’t like rap who like him because they understand what he says, “oh really, if you like that, then you should listen to _______.” This is a positive approach to the fear you mentioned. Just my opinion. That’s how I get people to listen to Kanye’s other shit as well as his messages (people who think he’s nothing more than an arrogant douchebag).

  • thib

    to be fair to macklemore you cant hate him for other people’s ignorance i mean who votes for this and who thought that it was right or deserved only people who know jack shit about the artform of HIP HOP so yea at least the dude acknowledged it and didnt let it slide i just wish they televised the rap album of the year so he could say it to the world

  • Shwin

    Macklemore May suck. But Ryan Lewis is an amazing producer. If there was an instrumental version of the heist it would be fantastic

    • Blablaa

      I think Ryan Lewis is great too and he makes hits, but his beats are pretty simple. And I’m a big Macklemore fan.

  • This Article is Whack AF

    Racism lives and is clear through all the people on this comment section determining that Macklemore isn’t good due to his skin and pre-fame wealth. This is music. Hip hop was created by black people who got through adversity. As rap evolved and caught so many peoples’ attentions (whatever race they may be), it inspired people of any color to make this kind of music. People of all color support and listen to rappers if they are good no matter their race. I’m white and I grew up listening to hip hop. I’ve supported so many rappers that aren’t the same color as me. I’ve supported many rappers the same as me. Color should NEVER be an issue in this day and age. Too many people will judge a whole race because of a few peoples’ actions. We are the same. Also, adversity is not something that is found ONLY in the projects of crime stricken cities. Adversity comes in so many forms, but hip hop was created by portraying the come up from the streets. But if someone raps about their issues that have nothing to do with that, and they are wealthy, then that isn’t their fault. Money isn’t everything. People go through shit at all levels of wealth. What I’m saying is that, people of any color are allowed to have a passion for rap, no matter what adversities they are troubled with because one thing is for sure: we can all relate to having issuing and going through troubled times even if you don’t come from the projects. The only difference is the lyrics. So have some fucking respect for Macklemore. The man is on his grind and making music that speaks on real issues. Drug problems, alcoholism, consumerism, religion and faith, etc. People like Drew Millard are literally so jealous of him that they end up writing some disrespectful ass shit like this. Stop expecting rappers today to be like the creators of hip hop. Things change and evolve. Don’t hold people back because of race or class – these are things they were born into. FYI – I don’t fuck with some of Macklemore’s songs either but don’t judge artists by their radio hits or most popular songs. Sometimes its not a good representation of them as an artist. I’m not a “dick-riding” fan either, trust me. Just hate disrespectful and envious shit like this article!

  • Sherrie Drone

    Eric (Eazy E) Wright must be spinning in his grave.

  • Emz

    first of all,every rapper comes with his own “swag” and trend. Macklemore is one of the realest guys in d game now solely because he is being himself.. swag or swagless,thats just him. Eminem came with his own thing and stuck to it.. and today we approve of him. And hiphop is abt perspectives,if Common (who can possibly be a black macklemore), who doesnt rap abt the most ignorant tings won these grammies,i doubt you would be mad abt how “mainstream” peeps would perceive hiphop. in summation,this article is jus the writer’s opinion

  • leo

    Ok so Mr.Fresh prince and dj jazzy jeff winning the first rap grammy in 89′ or Young Mc winning in 90 beating out Public Enemy doesn’t piss you off more?!
    so from the beginning,we all been giving the grammy’s the big fuck you….
    look at the majority of the voters….
    the closest thing we had of true hip hop awards were the Source awards.
    peace.

    • JaneyBGood

      Thank you.

  • myian barnes

    By no stretch of the imagination am I a fan of dude. I think Kendrick and Drake(who was the real artist, if any to be snubbed, I felt his album edged KDot’s by a small margin) both made incredible albums in ’13 but Macklemore deserved to win that grammy. I’m sure deep down he feels that way, he just wants to make peace amongst the uproar amongst the “hiphop” community. That album possessed some huge hits and I found myself downloading it myself after I saw Mack and Lewis’s VMA performance. I like a few songs, nothing i listen to very often, but based on that, I understand why they won. Not really my cup of tee, but they did an incredible job. I guarantee you 99% of the angry people didn’t listen at all, they just don’t want to accept someone as white as these gentleman as hip hop. Especially given the whole gay agenda push thing. At the end of the day, they made great music and deserved the win. I’ve seen Nas robbed so many times but the backlash isn’t there because it was someone black or the somewhat acceptable Eminem got the award instead. Congrats to the winners, and thank you to Drake, Kendrick, Maclemore and Ryan Lewis, and all the other artists who provided last years soundtrack. #Salute

  • J

    People like eminem and Macklemore are like the Elvis Presleys of rap.

  • Jay Gatz

    Wow you really hate Macklemore.

    P.S. This sentence is illogical. “All awards are arbitrary just like the fact that we all die alone.” Reword it and it will make sense. Tips from GrammerDoc.

  • Mike Berg

    Haters make the best critics because they hate so many things. The only REAL problem with Macklemore is people like you who are too jaded to grasp onto something genuine. This is just another useless creative gripe with several f bombs in it. I want my fucking 3 minutes back. Stay mad.

  • Stop Hating Start Writing

    Since when writers became haters on COMPLEX ?
    I don’t like Macklemore music, but this is just basic hatin.

    How do you even get the right to publish this ? Man stop writing and open a brand new account on Youtube, this where you belong. Dumb ass moth****cker.

    • MichaelFreeway

      It’s almost like they secretly like him and will do anything to portray as if they don’t.

  • MichaelFreeway

    Complex. You guys are a bunch of idiots. You do realize he has other songs besides thrift shop and same love right? Those are the only songs you guys ever mention. Why do you guys keep implying that macklemore is blind to his white privilege? If you did your research you would know he has a song called white privilege where he addresses his white privilege. I don’t understand why I let complex get me so mad. You guys just need to do your research on an artist before you guys so blatantly come out with these ignorant ass articles. Face it you just don’t like him because he’s a white man who didn’t have a rough background *(who doesn’t try to pretend he is because then you’d call him corny or fake) is succeeding in a black art form.. At least be honest about that because at least that would be somewhat respectable.

  • Malcolm
  • MacksBiggestFan

    This has to be the meanest post ive ever read lmao this nigga straight dogged on a guy who is clearly the best at what he does, we love you mack

  • Melanie Alvarez

    Embarassing to read this. This artist has had plenty of hardships that compare to the ones that were in the rap category with him. He’s white? Who even looks at color anymore. Old people, that’s who. You’re talking about him being a mainstream pop artist? Eminem is on the radio. Drake is too, Kendrick, and Hov… I don’t get it? Would everyone be happy if snoop and biggie and PAC and Kendrick all had a million Grammys? Show respect where respect is due. This man is moving our country towards where it needs to be. This article is actually degrading to this magazine and blog because the writers and editors claim to know a thing or two about music. It’s not about the artist who sings the song, or in this case raps, it’s about the movement the lyrics create.

  • sen

    I wanna start my comment by straight up saying I fucking hate macklemore and hold not an ounce of respect for the man, but the way this article is written makes me hate the author more than I hate him. The reason so many people who don’t like macklemore are “defending” him anyways is a direct result of not wanting to agree with the fucking clown who wrote this bullshit.

  • Mick

    I’m betting that if Kendrick Lamar won, you wouldn’t have said shit.
    Not that I’m particularly enamored with Macklemore and/or Ryan Lewis, but the fact remains that he didn’t win.
    The “group” who won managed to self-promote, indie-publish (without hocking ‘em in a Wal-Mart parking lot), write semi-meaningful lyrics…all while essentially tricking labels into giving them exposure/technology.
    That’s f**king smart. Did they “sell out” by farming a track to commercials? Yup…and it made them even MORE of a household name. Hell, most teenagers (and some adults) will forever associate the words “thrift shop” with “Macklemore”…and that’s how you last.

    But let’s not kid ourselves: nearly the whole article can be summed up with the last paragraph:

    “And really, why should Macklemore be contritious about his fame and success? He has millions of dollars and a bunch of Grammys, and we have zero dollars and zero Grammys because those things don’t exist when you hold the moral high ground. All we have to cling to is our precious coolness, something Macklemore gave up long ago on the road to fame and fortune. ”

    You’re sounding like every fan whose team/artist/movie/game/dog doesn’t come in first place. After all, you gotta defame the winner…I mean, there’s NO WAY they deserve the accolades, right? Probably cheating. Or nepotism. Or black magic.

    I will say, though: I did get a solid chuckle out of “moral high ground”. Moral high ground doesn’t pay my mortgage, buy my groceries, pay my electric bill OR get me laid.

    And when Coolness starts giving me free internet, I’ll start swagging.

  • bree

    Periods go on the inside of quotation marks.
    I don’t like or dislike Macklemore, I don’t listen to much of his music. When I do, it’s for background noise.
    Saying someone is “swagless” is a fucking compliment. If you think “swag” is something cool, it’s not. It’s a cop-out for using intelligent words like “character, talent, etc.”

    • Swag-a-riffic

      Wow, I agree with this to the FULLEST. The word “swag” is BEYOND sold out. I’m surprised there’s not a line of toys at toys r us called swag (could be, don’t know). Using that word, especially when criticizing someone of being “swagless,” is an indication of trying too hard, I believe. And the entire article is an indication of hidden insecurity. What do you care what mainstream america thinks of hip-hop, or rap, for that matter? And who’s to say Macklemore is any less of a rapper or artist because he found a different way to make it? The ONLY way to make it, is by doing something different. Otherwise, you’re a one-hit wonder. And “my dude,” really, listen to some of his other songs.

  • M3di Baby

    Wow this blogger needs some pussy! U can tell hes salty as fuck. .I dnt fuck with Macklemore music like tht but dammit I admire the shit out of his hustle. Jus shows u dnt have to make gritty hiphop music to be rich. .Hes true to himself and u bashing him cuz he makes millions not having to be a fucking thug.

  • pick a name

    Haha! Well said and spot on. This captures the quintessential description of the typical Seattle-ite douchbaggery rampant in this city. Smug corny self righteous dorkery. It’s a well intended group of previous highschool yearbook want desperately to be popular but can’t quite figure itout overcompensate through masters degree and force social success via a job type of folks. Macklemore epitomizes Seattle perfectly. Corny poser passive aggressive white kid who rambles on ad nauseum about being progressive to perfection. Its Reese witherspoon in the movie election. But shit at least he’s not from the eastside.

  • Joelle Zigman

    Accordion is decidedly not embarrassing. Polka is the shit. People just do it for the love and there’s never any bullshit from privileged assholes trying to ride on anybody else’s success. I definitely endorse making the switch.

  • Antonio Valdivia

    Rap suck now anyways. Rap does when 2pac died. Now it’s all just fuckin trash.

  • eurocunt

    omg the best drag i’ve ever read on the internet, period. relevant.

  • Old

    “All we have to cling to is our precious coolness, something Macklemore gave up long ago on the road to fame and fortune. We are cool, Macklemore is not, this is fucking awesome.” Coolness = self destruction lifestyle so you can justify being a looser… this story is old.

  • Tom

    Who is Macklemore? (sorry… I’m 48)

  • Christofuzz

    I went to middle school with Macklemore and
    even though I don’t like his music at all, I respect him for being himself and
    turning a passion of his into something that he is able to do as a career while
    staying true to who he is. Yeah, he is not a good rapper and I don’t like his
    music…but that doesn’t mean I don’t respect what he does and how he does it,
    and I am just one opinion out of billion people who has an opinion. I mean,
    most of you motherfuckers are the reason why he is so popular now. thrift shop
    has over 400 million views on youtube…that’s not by accident. That’s
    you motherfuckers going and watching his videos listening to his music…so
    he’s must be doing something right.You don’t have to like his music, or like
    how he acts or what he does…but don’t blame it on him. He has stayed true to
    his craft since I remember him from middle school and I respect that. If you
    are looking for someone to blame…you should aim that towards the award shows
    that we all know have no fucking clue what good music is. And if we know that
    already, then who gives a fuck if Kendrick was robbed or not. Those awards don’t
    mean shit.

  • swagonthis

    You sound like a self obsessed douche. You really care that much about what people outside the rap culture are going to think about rap?? Who the fuck cares what your grandma thinks. And criticizing him based on what his instagram captions are, Really? Real swag homie. “To wrap up” you end this article the way a fucking 6 year old boy would. “I’m cool, you’re not, I win.” Grow up and do us all a favor by keeping your opinion to yourself. Oh, and enjoy that sake by the bay boss.

  • John

    Article is garbage.

    • thisguyscommentipostedonsucksd

      Ur trashy

  • Jim

    Instead of hating on someone for their success, why don’t you do something else with your life. So what if you don’t want to consider him a rapper, who cares (besides everyone here)? I thought this was a blog about mens fashion?

  • Alex Breuer

    Um… This article should have been titled, “Why I hate Macklemore.” It has absolutely no solid information about anything. “But what kills people the most about Macklemore is that he’s categorically fucking swagless”- is this your thesis?
    You used eight paragraphs to attack Macklemore’s personality and looks. Then you finished with bunch of made up judgmental shit. If you are going to drink and write, drink whiskey.

  • Matt Erik Katch

    Drew Millard may be unwittingly the biggest tool writing on the internet.

    Matt Erik Katch wrote this while sitting in his bachelor pad in southern Japan chugging bourbon because it’s after work on a Friday.

    (Also does anyone know what a Suziki is?)

  • REALIST

    WHO FUCKING CARES!

  • dj sallinger

    you can’t say anything about eminem because he’s ridiculously talented. Hip hop needs to make space for mediocre white rappers and not get mad about it. Macklemore is and ok rapper with some really good songs and some awful ones. The main point is that he’s no more special than any other rapper and only became super famous because subliminally racist indy dudes and teenage girls like him. He won the grammy because the grammys are racist and stupid. But there is nothing to hate about him.

    • DJ Deezy ThaTruth

      bout sums it up.

  • GABE

    I think accordions are cool

  • JaneyBGood

    “The reason people who love rap hate Macklemore is because it is embarrassing to have that dude be what adult, mainstream America thinks of when they think about hip-hop.”

    Why you all need validation for hip hop from the mainstream media, awards shows, and suburban grandmothers is beyond me.
    So, I’m sure most of you have zero recollection of a time when it was controversial for white kids in the suburbs to even LISTEN to rap, never mind sell records or win Grammys. So now, hip hop has become this thing that everyone is suddenly has an opinion on and furthermore needs the approval of the white establishment? Give me a break. Hip hop was a complete break from the mainstream, a rebellion against institutionalized racism and oppression, as Chuck D put it, “Hip hop is Black America’s CNN”. If The Source said Mackelmore should win best hip hop album, then you should be worried.

  • PdxTony

    The real problem is when groups claim that something isn’s original because it doesn’t fit into a certain mold. People might want to look at rap history. Rappers delight wasn’t hardcore or serious. There have always been silly songs that gained massive popularity, Rapper’s delight, Parent’s dont understand, baby got back , Me so horny were all pretty meaningless songs but gained popularity based a variety of factors that are almost impossible figure out (yes I remember all these songs), I equate it to the same realm as Duck Dynasty or Honey booboo, people are wacky.
    Rap has moved from an obscure form protest music to popular form of music where everyone is welcome to participate and explore their own ideas.
    Mac has worked hard and paid his musical dues, he didnt have a rich daddy produce him and in fact turned down lucrative deals so earned my respect. That said no one should ever confuse popularity with skill.
    I will reserve judgement on Mac’s skill until I see some more albums.

  • PdxTony

    In an interview with ‘Rolling Stone’ magazine, Eminem praises the ‘Same Love’ artist, saying, “I’ve heard Macklemore’s whole album… he’s really dope. Macklemore is, yeah, he’s dope.” He added: “I think there’s very technical ish that he does. He’s a really good songwriter, too. Conceptually, the ish he does is pretty f’n incredible.” Wow, some hefty words of praise from a living legend.

    Nuff said

  • Superior dick

    wow, you actually managed to come off as more of a douche-canoe than Macklemore. “.. those things don’t exist when you hold the moral high-ground.” Holding the moraal high-ground? Is that what you’re doing? Good for you buddy.

  • back smack radio bleach

    as long as Macklemore’s rap is better than Black eyed peas then Hip-Pop took a good step forward. now atleast non-Hip hop fans won’t say “isn’t black eyed peas hip hop…dood?”… but then it’s still hip pop. snore.

  • SEC82

    Damn……………….. hate much?

  • Black Hippy

    Macklemore has been making horrible “Rap Music” since 2005.Screw that, he doesn’t even rhyme so why call him a rapper?
    Give a Grammy to someone who deserves it like MF Doom.

  • Meek

    salty as fuck. lol

  • D

    This is garbage. You’re saying Macklemore doesn’t represent hip-hop correctly because his lyrics are comical and his whole vibe is cheerful? Loooool and this worries you because THAT’s how “everyday people” (quote: “your parents, your grandparents, your aunts and uncles”) are gonna see rap music. People that represent hip-hop culture unassumingly segregate themselves from mainstream music, hence so many rappers stand against the Grammys, which represents what’s wrong with pop culture. So why should your grandmothers opinion on the next viral rapper matter to the reputation of rap if it’s not one to mix well with others? Surely that’s the fucking point of hip-hop. It’s not the norm, it’s glorifying the roots and evolution of a particular culture, time, era.. however you wanna define it, and it’s never been concerned about what Aunty Maple thinks of it. Which is why people aren’t concerned about the Grammys. You said yourself man, people who were shocked about Macklemore beating out Kendrick are idiots because those who really listen to Kendrick and pay attention to how it really goes down for hip-hop music and the rappers who carry it, know that the Grammys don’t award it or them. So why are you so concerned that this dude is misrepresenting a genre and a culture to the very people that couldn’t be less valuable or important to its survival? The people who support celebrations like the Grammys, the very people who fund these organizations and the mainstream. Probably the real reason behind the Grammys ignoring hip-hop. What, are you worried that people are gonna think that this prat prancing around in a fur coat talking selfies with fellow black-culture abuser miley cyrus really is what hip-hop is? Get the fuck outta here man, you’re a moron. You genuinely sound like some skinny little white boy with zits on his face that sits in his basement bumping old mixtapes thinking that jumping on the bandwagon to hate on someone who celebrates nothing but music and positivity will give you a voice within a culture and generation that, by doing so, you refuse to be apart of.
    Macklemore is irritating for some, sure. Because he’s well dressed, well spoken, sings about the marriage equality and thrift shop style. His flow and concepts aren’t always consistent, but how about talking about THAT? You didn’t mention his flow once, you didn’t speak on his music or his talent, or lack thereof. You just talked about the role he plays from where you’re sitting. You’re opinion, sure. And an opinion can’t make you wrong. But it can make you a cock, who shouldn’t have this much power with a blog.

  • IGhater

    Rap is music that should express one’s soul, regardless of one’s race. Only a soulless, ignorant nigger would write an article like this and only other soulless niggers would read it and agree with it. This is the reason why you will never get anywhere in life and with that attitude, you don’t deserve to.

    • jrwirth3

      If you’re a white dude calling black people niggers you have no right to talk about race issues

  • realvsreal

    ryan lewis combover goes one way mackelmores goes the other

  • tchery

    Awesome! !!!

  • mack le mooore

    fuck this honky

  • J-Olsen

    The news of Macklemore winning every category over prominent rap artists Kendrick Lamar filled me with disgust. Soon as you start to believe highbrow award ceremonies were becoming more accepting of rap/hip-hop as a musical genre, they pull a fast one and marginalize real talented rap musicians by choosing “old-familiar”. The socially acceptable midway between what smells like rap but look and taste like refreshing pop. I wanted to get away from “new” music for awhile, the machine had made its decision and I was thoroughly underwhelmed. So I sifted through a well-known mixtape site looking for classic joints to remedy my illness; the now common garbage-music-fluenza. I found all my previously owned dipset-movement discography. Now, after a few days of listening to classic joints by your “favourite rapper’s, favourite rapper”, my symptoms have all but subsided. Thank you, real rap (hip-hop).

    When you first meet Macklemore you have to straight slap him. Off the bat, just backhand him. So, he can never say, fam you don’t treat me the way you use to.

  • jjjjjgaybrams

    Bieber, Cyrus, Macklemore. They all look the same. Why, you ask?…Satan had triplets.

  • Shuttlesworth

    “The face he uses in his said selfies is the sort of smug, self-satisfied grin that just begs to be punched off of someone’s fucking face. Macklemore sucks because he tries to take hip-hop and make it goofy, fun and family-friendly, but does so in a way that makes it seem like he’s making fun of it. ”

    Smug? Self-satisfied? Seems to be making fun of hip-hop? You pretty much described Jon Moy’s writing style in every one of his posts.

    No hip-hop fan in their right mind thinks that Macklemore is the second coming of Kane, but, please, don’t act like Four Pins doesn’t play around with hip-hop from the same douchey, selvedge denim-clad position of privilege.

  • Board bum

    Macklemore makes me want to cut my hair like him, take a selfie, and then sit and wonder why the FUCK did I do that while listening to Atmosphere, or somebody else that is white and can rap.

  • Scott Freebass

    He’s the Elvis of modern day rap music. In America there will always be a token great white hope in historically Black music genres (rock, jazz, rap, R&B, blues) who will shoot straight to the top of the charts because mainstream white America identifies with that person and isn’t confused or scared of what they represent. It’s a cultural thing. Macklemore doesn’t suck by any means but compared to the current and all-time greats of hip hop he is light years behind. plain and simple.

  • Dan

    “All we have to cling to is our precious coolness.” You don’t even have that. There is nothing less cool than a rapper taking themselves serious. You can make serious social commentary without inflating your self image. Money is one measure of self worth, but a weak one. This kid is teaching you all to laugh at yourself. Isn’t that a better place for rappers to be than shooting at each other? Don’t you wish Biggie and Tupac were still alive? Maybe they would be alive today if they didn’t take their “art” so seriously.

  • The Esteemed

    The real problem with Macklemore is the commercial juggernaut defeated the critical darling at a commercial award ceremony and people are butthurt about it.

  • Kaleo Heavyweightchamp Griffin

    Whacklammore, if he is so good spit 1 of his verses, I say that to all his fan’s, and they can’t they can only sing the hooks of his pop songs. He is 2014 vanilla ice. He couldn’t win a battle. This is hip hop you must battle to be considered the best. Like when nas beat jay z and the roc dynasty by himself with 1 song ether. We in the real official hip hop community don’t consider him a true m.c, just a rapper. There’s a difference, I hope you know that. Kendrick is a true m.c and I don’t rate rapper’s by grammys. Lol. Missy Elliott, puff daddy. Its the ability to rock the mic. And rap music hip hop will always be a black music culture. Because real credibility comes from the street. And you can give grammy after grammy and they will always be considered pop. Thats just how it goes. No macklemore is played on shade 45, or black radio stations. Its only on the crossover pop stations. So there is a real disconnect from the black audience. Take a poll amongst black and ask would theyllisten to macklemore and his 4 grammys or fabulous, or even some one like styles p. Or jadakiss. The answer 9 out of 10 will be the latter. And who takes gucci mane as a true m.c? Or any of the southern rapper’s who only rao about stip clubs dancing and hard core drug use, nas told us hip hop was dead and he was correct.

  • Brian

    Can you imagine how much more effective this whole article would have been if it had been written by an actual writer? Shivers.

  • King Cobe

    I’m late to the party here but just saying, black hip hop artists have come from the middle class now(Famously, Kanye, among others.) If you want to make Hip Hop solely about class then there are tons of artists who people love who are not “real” enough for you.

    If you want to make it about struggle or adversity, Macklemore languished in obscurity for 13 years. It’s not the longest wait for success(think Percee P…) But it’s not as if he became an overnight success when he was a teenager(like many black artists I’m sure you can think of…) His work ethic is impressive. He made a number 1 single without being signed for the second time in history.

    As for race, white people have been a part of hip hop since the beginning and will continue to be so in the future. Anyone who knows the elements, puts in the time to craft songs that do them justice, and makes something people want to listen to is a hip hop artist(“Emcee” is more of a distinction.) I’ve only listened to “the heist” once through but it was enough to pick up on the fact the Macklemore loves hip hop and is not doing his music with a wink or as some kind of performance art(think Riff Raff.)

    Don’t like him? Think he’s corny? I can see that. So don’t listen. There’s plenty more cornball rappers out there. It doesn’t mean they’re not a part of hip hop.

  • beastwork

    lol as a north carolinian I have to wonder what exactly the fuck do you know about Shelby, NC haha

  • W

    How were you able to write this on that massive period you’re having?

  • hirasharkie

    Macklemore is definitely a rapper! I don’t understand why people are only judging him for his hit songs like Thrift shop and Same Love (which are amazing songs). You should try listening to his other songs and albums. Ever heard his album Language of my world?? probably not cz ur only judging him for a few songs with a good message. this dumb blogger said that he’s not a rapper because he has goofy songs. Eminem is considered a rapper but what about his goofy songs like “Just Lose It”. He made a pretty “goofy” song with no message except dissing Michael Jackson. Eminem is also an amazing rapper but just like Macklemore he might have a goofy or fun song. Stop hating on Macklemore He’s an AMAZING PERSON and RAPPER!

  • John Ryan

    Great article. Spot on on your diss of mackelmore. If only people took their love for mackelmore and put it into a good rapper, mainstream rap would have hope. Mackelmore deserves to be poor, homeless, and single, for his music sucks, and his ego is the size of a skyscraper. People hate on lil Wayne, but they should actually hate on mackelmore. Mackelmore deserves to be hated because he tries to change the topic of rap music, tries to make rap “family friendly”, and is not a thug, and deserves NO respect. When I hear mackelmore, iggy, or pitbull, I want to bang my head against a wall, until I bleed to death, to avoid listening to their music. These rappers are pests, and we must rid these pests from the music industry, and people’s minds.

  • Lily

    you sound like a snob.. why can’t people like what they like? and why do you feel the need to defend your musical superiority by saying shit like “defending our precious coolness”? who gives a fuck what other people do with their lives… stop being so defensive. music doesn’t have to fit a genre and you don’t need to go crazy because one artist you don’t like happens to be really famous.

  • kay

    Nah, I disagree. Macklemore is the shit, most of you rap fans just like shitty music like Lil Wayne- like nah.

    • Stephen Ritger

      I agree…Macklemore is shit.