For some reason, I started thinking about Macklemore just now. Do I care for his music? No. But I’m still angry that he felt the need to apologize to Kendrick Lamar. He shouldn’t have apologized. If anyone deserved to win the Grammy for Best Rap Album, Macklemore did. In my eyes, he changed the game — probably not for good, but he is definitely unique.
His lyrics have substance that surpasses that of your typical rap song soliciting a lifestyle of sex, drugs, and money. Are there profanities? Sure. But who cares when there is an absence of misogyny? Who cares when an anti-homophobic message is being delivered to and is well-received by the masses? Who cares when the emphasis on materialism is challenged?
Macklemore is white, and I believe that is the main reason why he became an apologist. But he shouldn’t apologize for his success — it only reflects a larger consensus that rap is ready to shift away from its shallow, over-sexualized undertones. It won’t happen anytime soon, but the potential for change is there.
Please challenge me if you disagree.