Happy Birthday, Macklemore!
Although it feels like it, it really hasn't been that long since we've been removed from Macklemania -- just three years. Macklemore, the man born Ben Haggerty, turns 32 years old today (June 19).
The rapper is one of the many artists that are included in the arguments for the antiquity of major record labels. He stayed independent as he blew up and hasn't signed the dotted line with a major yet. His hit song "Thrift Shop" was decent, but the cartoonish video helped push it to being Macklemore's No. 1 video of his career -- it sits at currently 723 million views. "Can't Hold Us" capitalized off the hype to become his second Billboard No. 1 single.
Then came the praise for being a socially conscious rapper. "Same Love" was an overblown anthem for marriage equality and gave the sorely uninformed an excuse to say, "Hey, look! Rap isn't all misogyny."
The attention Macklemore received led to one of the most loathed Grammy Awards ceremonies in recent memory, according to social media. Not only was "Same Love" included in an embarrassingly made-for-TV mass wedding led by Queen Latifah at the 2014 awards show, but Macklemore drew the ire of hip-hop by winning Best Rap Album for The Heist over Kendrick Lamar's good kid, m.A.A.d. city. Lamar went Grammy-less while Macklemore won four golden gramophones -- and his public apology to Lamar didn't make things better.
Macklemore was quiet for the remainder of 2013 and 2014, when hip-hop heads grew even angrier. Not only did the genre have a tame year, but Iggy Azalea blew up and brought the white appropriation debate to head. It got to the point where some thought they'd rather have Macklemore than anything "Fancy."
Still, if you take away context, you can appreciate how Macklemore can cause all this uproar and have an album, The Heist, go platinum off grinding independently.
Watch Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' "Thrift Shop" Video Feat. Wanz
See 50 Inspirational Quotes From Your Favorite Rappers