April 25, 2024

Macklemore Says “Culture Vulture” Narrative “Wasn’t My Truth”


His contributions to Hip Hop were already controversial, but when Macklemore won a Grammy over Kendrick Lamar, he faced criticism unlike any other. It was in 2014 when The Recording Academy awarded Macklemore’s The Heist the trophy for Best Rap Album over Lamar’s acclaimed good kid m.A.A.d. city. It was a devastating loss for the then-Top Dawg Entertainment stand-out, and his fans haven’t let up about it ever since. Although Macklemore emerged in the Pacific Northwest as an aspiring rapper, Hip Hop culture didn’t fully welcome the Pop star with open arms.

In a new interview with HipHopDX, Macklemore talks about his latest album, BEN, as well as those ‘culture vulture’ accusations. “I think that it did hurt my feelings at the very beginning,” he told the outlet. “When ‘Thrift Shop’ was at its peak and the biggest song in the world, that’s when the think pieces started coming out around cultural appropriation, and one hit wonder, and all of this assessment and analysis.” Many years ago, Mack acknowledged that Hip Hop wasn’t his culture. He was dedicated to obtaining a greater understanding, as many other white rappers have shared in the past.

Macklemore Sees The Shift

There was a time when white rappers seemed to be a novelty. Eminem’s success imprinted him as a Rap GOAT, and several others have entered the arena as hitmakers. It’s common for non-Black artists to crank out Hip Hop hits, but Macklemore recognizes this wasn’t always accepted. “We were at a different place with whiteness in Hip Hop a decade ago,” he explained. “It was a very different time.” He added, “One thing that the criticism did, [it made me] dig deep into myself, and [I had] the realization that I don’t control who resonates with my art.”

The rapper also shared that he isn’t concerned with things he can’t control. His “deep dive” was prompted by being “scrutinized by the world,” and even though he apologized to Lamar about the Grammy moment, people didn’t let up. “I’m like, ‘Oh my God.’ There’s only two ways out of this: stopping or accepting it.’ Because whatever everyone else was saying about me wasn’t my truth. If I know myself, if I’m coming from a place of faith rather than fear, if I’m coming from radical love versus hatred, if I’m coming from a place of, ‘This is authentically me, take it or leave it,’ it’s not my business what the final decision is. That’s it. I don’t control other people’s perspective.”


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