(This soft motherf*cker probably has “PUMPKIN SPICE” tattooed on his stomach.)
By Dustin Seibert
As the High Council’s Foremost Authority on All Things Hip-Hop*, I’m making the decree that Macklemore is not now, and shall never be, real hip-hop. The reason we reject him is not what you may think it is off the bat (his pasty Irish-ness) but rather things that are likely a by-product of his pasty Irish-ness.
First off, he makes bad choices. I’m not talking about the bad choices that many rappers make, like getting busted for weed on the tour bus or putting murder in your rap name and getting locked up for murder. I’m talking about decidedly goof-ass decisions like apologizing to his competition for feeling guilty after winning a Grammy award.
Rap is, and has always been, built on competition. Even if you win an utterly irrelevant award like a Best Rap Album Grammy (which is like your grandmother judging which of the Step Up movies is the best) and you know in your heart that your shitbox album had no business winning anything except the Recycle Bin Awards, you ride it out and just let it be. It’s probably the only time I ever agreed with Drake.
And there’s also his latest dust-up: dressing up as a Jewish stereotype to perform on stage and denying it when the heat came down. Since the costume he wore, with the beard and prosthetic nose, is akin to putting on blackface and then claiming that he didn’t intend to dress like a black person, no one believes him. But more importantly, dressing like Matisyahu when he was punishing us all in his 15 minutes of relevance is definitively not a hip-hop thing to do.
Above everything else, however, is the music. Macklemore is like Eminem without the amazing technical rhyme prowess, which means his music is basically radio-friendly pop mush, thanks to his partner Ryan Lewis’ penchant for emo production. I sincerely appreciate his push for gay tolerance with “Same Love,” but I also recognize that Macklemore won all those damn Grammys as a result of the paradigm shift that honors such progressive tolerance, and not because of the quality of his music.
Bottom line: no one over the age of 20 with a set of male genitalia is blasting Macklemore from their whips. And no one with a taste for quality hip-hop believes he should’ve lost to Kendrick Lamar. If this were Dave Chappelle’s Racial Draft, Macklemore’s ass would be left alone in the corner like the fat kid in a dodgeball game.
*I earned it from a matchbook, yo.