I’ve been a fan of Macklemore since hearing “Hold Your Head Up” (feat XP) while I was a senior at the University of Oregon. I wanted to do a story about him and his upcoming tour, but slacked on reaching out to his management and unfortunately was unable to land an interview in time. So… I had to find a different angle to take (and images to use off the internet). I didn’t really have any idea what the angle was going to be until after an interview with Tracy Record, editor of West Seattle Blog. I did not ask her about Macklemore, but she told me about this word Transparency that has been floating around the world of journalism lately. The word basically refers to Journalist, especially bloggers, who reference the sources for their story as part of the story and as a way to include the reader in the process of creating.
I didn’t make the connection between Transparency and Macklemore immediately. But as I was searching for inspiration I watched the video for The Town, listened to Wings and Otherside, and finally realized that this method of journalism describes Macklemore’s style of writing. Where journalists share the sources for their story, Macklemore shares the moment, or moments, that inspired his song.
So I started going back through his music looking for examples.
“But I look inside that mirror and think Phil Knight tricked us all.” – Wings
“I seen people’s dreams die, I’ve seen what they can be denied.” – Otherside
“That doesn’t mean I can’t make a drinking song with the rest of them.” – Irish Celebration
“Looking over this city’s the only thing that keeps me calm/ scattered thoughts jotted down by this pen in my palm/ it’s like my city stands still, the world looks on/ If I could only capture its beauty and put it in a song.” – The Town
Whether its speaking on overcoming a substance addiction that he struggled with from 2006-2008, or a conflict with a sneaker collection, the amount of soul he puts into his music intensifies these moments of inspiration brilliantly when shared. I’m not saying other artists don’t do this as well, but Macklemore does it in a way that seems intentional and especially effective in helping the audience feel what he is while writing.
If hearing the last four bars of the Town doesn’t give you chills, you weren’t listening.
He speaks on so many moments of inspiration with such detail throughout this song that it is impossible to question its authenticity. You don’t have to know anything about Macklemore or Seattle’s hip-hop scene to believe that everything he is telling you is true. I’d love to read anything that describes any part of Seattle as well.
“Mr. Mayor, Why would you support an ordinance/ Music it saves lives, these kids out here are supporting it.” – The Town
He’s also had the pleasure of teaming up with Zia Mohajerjasbi for the music video. I heard The Town and liked it before seeing the video, but after watching it once, it’s impossible to not envision the video while listening to the song.
I did a quick Google search on Mohajerjasbi, and found an Artist Spotlight written about him in The University of Washington’s The Daily. According to the article he is both the brother of Blue Scholars producer and DJ, Sabzi, and won The Stranger’s Genius Award in Film in 2009.
The two recently had an insanely successful campaign with Kickstarter.com. With a goal of raising $10,000 on the website to film a mini-movie for his song Wings, they managed to sell enough 6′ Macklemore Wings posters to raise $18,269.
(Updated on 2.26. Here’s a making of Wings video.)
I cannot wait to see what they come up with for the song. They filmed it last week. I had fun watching Twitpics of the progress.
Macklemore’s tour with Ryan Lewis started Tuesday at Washington State Univesity. Should be fun watching his video blogs as the tour progresses. Be sure to check him out if he is in your area. Tour dates are posted below.
I’ll be at the WOW Hall on Tuesday.
FEB 22 – PULLMAN, WA – WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY
FEB 24 – OLYMPIA, WA – THE ROYAL LOUNGE
FEB 25 – SEATTLE, WA – SHOWBOX MARKET SOLD OUT
FEB 26 – VANCOUVER B.C. – 560 CLUB
FEB 27 – SEATTLE, WA – SHOWBOX MARKET SOLD OUT
MAR 01 – EUGENE, OR – WOW HALL
MAR 03 – PORTLAND, OR – HAWTHORNE THEATRE
MAR 04 – BELLINGHAM, WA – WHATCOM COMMUNITY COLLEGE
MAR 05 – SEATTLE, WA – SHOWBOX MARKET SOLD OUT
MAR 07 – SAN FRANCISCO, CA – CAFE DU NORD SOLD OUT
MAR 08 – LOS ANGELES, CA – VIPER ROOM
MAR 10 – SAN DIEGO, CA – BRICK BY BRICK
MAR 11 – TEMPE, AZ – CLUB RED
MAR 12 – ALBUQUERQUE, NM – LAUNCHPAD
MAR 15 – MISSION, TX – NEVER SAY NEVER FESTIVAL
MAR 23 – GAMBIER, OH – KENYON COLLEGE FREE SHOW
MAR 24 – PEORIA, IL – SOP’S ON MAIN
MAR 25 – IOWA CITY, IA – GABE’S
MAR 26 – CHICAGO, IL – SCHUBAS
MAR 27 – MINNEAPOLIS, MN – 7TH ST ENTRY
MAR 29 – ANN ARBOR, MI – BLIND PIG
MAR 30 – MADISON, WI – FREQUENCY
MAR 31 – OMAHA, NE – WAITING ROOM
APR 01 – GOLDEN, CO – SCHOOL OF MINES
APR 02 – CO. SPRINGS, CO – BLACK SHEEP
APR 03 – SALT LAKE CITY, UT – KILBY COURT
APR 13 – BOSTON, MA – BRIGHTON HALL
APR 14 – BURLINGTON, VT – HIGHER GROUND
APR 16 – NEW YORK, NY – WEBSTER HALL
APR 17 – PHILLY, PA – KUNG FU NECKTIE
APR 28 – FORT COLLINS, CO – AGGIE
APR 29 – DENVER, CO – BLUEBIRD THEATER
APR 30 – BOULDER, CO – FOX THEATER
MAY 31 – THE GORGE, WA – SASQUATCH FESTIVAL