About a year ago I came across Ben Haggerty, better known by his stage name, Macklemore. One night at home my friend Todd says, “Listen to this,” and naturally I asked, “which of the two songs is better?” He said, “Otherside is sick, but Wings is the best.” I eagerly put the earphones on, and gave Macklemore 4 minutes and 58 seconds of my life to hear the best and most descriptive song I will ever hear about a pair of shoes.
“Wings” immediately pulled me in as a fan. The lyrics in the song not only give a detailed description of the Jordan line of basketball shoes, but more importantly Macklemore’s thoughts on consumerism in this country. He depicts material things as something that we cherish so much, but then reminds us that those expensive Jordans are “just another pair of shoes.” He has a very compelling way of bringing introspection into his art. While so many hip-hop artists focus on women, money, and weapons in their music, Macklemore takes a refreshing step back, and expresses himself in a truly spiritual way that few hip-hop artists have been able to do.
In this past year I have listened to so much of Macklemore. From “Inhale Deep” and “I Said Hey” on his Language of My World album to “Vipassana” and “Otherside” off of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ VS. EP (Ryan Lewis is Macklemore’s extremely talented and creative producer). And after recently seeing Macklemore live in Baltimore, MD, he has influenced me more than any other hip hop artist ever has.
With a passion for hip hop music and writing, I take what he teaches me and try to make it my own. The passion I see when he performs has motivated me to get even more into my music when I perform, understanding that if I am confident in myself, so is the crowd. While I view him as a role model, I know that he believes in authenticity. So I take what I learn from his music and make it my own. Regardless of where my passion for music takes me, I will continue to be inspired by Macklemore every day. I am truly honored to have had the opportunity to interview Macklemore (check the interview out under the Nonfiction section), and blessed to be able to share what I have learned.