Say what you will about Macklemore, but the Seattle-based rap artist has had an extremely successful career in music. He’s got multiple platinum plaques lining his walls and a few GRAMMY Awards decorating his crib. One of those awards has been highly disputed by hip-hop fans worldwide, who believe that there was a much more suitable winner for the prize.
Of course, we’re speaking about his 2014 win for The Heist. Many are still shook that Macklemore took home the prize over Kendrick Lamar with Good Kid, M.A.A.D City, arguing about the win seven years later. The topic still gets mentioned in interviews, with Macklemore speaking more about the incident during a recent appearance on People’s Party with Talib Kweli.
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“It wasn’t just the Grammys that we won. We won every f*cking thing,” said Mack when asked how he feels about winning over Kendrick. “There was a big conversation around whether we should be in the Best Rap Album category, and I’m like, ‘What the f*ck? Do I not rap? Is this not a rap album?’ I get that there are pop sensibilities. I get that there are unapologetic pop moments. But is ‘Jimmy Iovine’ not a rap song?’ Is ‘Make The Money’ not a rap song?”
He went on to discuss how white privilege likely went into the academy’s decision to crown him over Kendrick. “I’m struggling with like, ‘Damn, I’m benefiting from the system I’ve been calling out since I was 20 years old,'” he said. “Here I am at the highest level of artistic merit, the GRAMMYs, and here I am benefiting from the same sh*t I’ve been talking about. So I was conflicted. People want to say it was guilt. It was, ‘He feels guilty about being white.’ That’s so surface level. Was there an air of that? Absolutely. Was that the reason? Absolutely not at the forefront.”
What are your feelings on the matter seven years after the fact? Watch Macklemore’s appearance on People’s Party above.