Macklemore: The term "conscious rapper" is very outdated and played out
|From the "White Walls" album art|
You might not have been familiar with him early last year, but in the time since Macklemore's album with Ryan Lewis, The Heist, dropped in October 2012, he's become a household name.
With "Thrift Shop" and "Can't Hold Us," and his latest, gay-equality rap single (that feels strange to type) "Same Love," he's had a breakout year no one could have predicted, sweeping awards shows and filling stands. Recently, we talked with Macklemore about his crazy ride.
How has the tour been so far? Any moments that stand out?
Tour's been awesome. We've had a great, great, great run with an amazing group of people and played amazing crowds. ... Boston Garden, 12,000 people, had my whole Haggerty family there in attendance. That was a very special night. I grew up spending summers in Boston. My grandparents lived there. I have a lot of family in that area, so to sell out Boston Garden ... in kind of remembrance of my grandfather who passed away, it was a big moment for me.
Does it all still seem kind of surreal, the whirlwind year that you've had?
Yeah, I think that it's a little bit easier to reflect later on in life. ... I'm not sure when that will be. But it's been a crazy year. We haven't stopped working. When you don't stop, it's tough to kind of get perspective and reflect on what you're doing.
Are you working on new material on the road, as well?
I've been writing. I don't write a ton on the road because when I write, I rap out loud, and I have to be cautious of my voice each night for the show. So I can't really wear my voice out rapping all day long ... Ryan's making beats, he's got a studio bus, so he's started to make beats for the first time since The Heist over this last month. That's been going well, so I'm excited to wrap the tour and get back in the studio when that time comes.
What is your creative process like? Do you like to be in a certain location, or have a certain ritual to work?
Sometimes I write stuff on random scraps of paper, sometimes in my iPhone, type it up, write it on a pad, hotel rooms, my room, art museums, walking down the street, airplanes. It doesn't matter.
You've been sweeping awards shows lately. Did you ever expect "Same Love" to get this much shine?
No, not at all. I didn't expect to get acclaim for any of our music. But it's been cool to see how it's all worked and unraveled. Being that "Thrift Shop" was the lead song and it turned into a massive hit, the biggest song in the world, that then gave us a platform for "Can't Hold Us," and the most important one, "Same Love."... If it wasn't for "Thrift Shop" turning into the record that it did, I don't think that "Can't Hold Us" or more importantly "Same Love" would have gotten the attention it did. So it's cool to see it all unfold.
How do you feel about being referred to as a "conscious rapper" in the media since "Same Love" came out?