Macklemore has spoken out about his conflicted thoughts on winning a Grammy over Kendrick Lamar in 2014.
That was the year many believed Lamar’s good kid m.A.A.d. city to be the album most deserving of the Best Rap Album award, and so there was a fair bit of controversy when Macklemore and production partner Ryan Lewis won for The Heist.
Seven years on and Macklemore has reflected on the reasons why he was the one to bring home the Grammy, stating that he felt his skin colour had helped facilitate his divisive win.
You can check out the full interview below:
Speaking in a recent episode of UPROXX’s People’s Party With Talib Kweli, Macklemore spoke about the enormous success of The Heist, and also addressed some of the criticism he had faced at the time over his rap credentials.
It wasn’t just the Grammys that we won. I’m looking at the shelf I have in the corner. We won every f*cking thing.
There was a big conversation around whether or not 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?
Moving on from this, Macklemore went on to remark that the ‘system’ he’d spent his entire life ‘calling out’ is ultimately what led to his Grammy victory over Lamar, explaining that he believed being White had played a significant part in his win.
I’m struggling with like, ‘Damn, I’m benefiting from the system I’ve been calling out since I was f*cking 20 years old’. 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.
The rapper then proceeded to express regret about the text message he sent to Lamar after the 2014 Grammys, which read, ‘You got robbed. I wanted you to win. You should have. It’s weird and it sucks that I robbed you’.
After sending the text, Macklemore had uploaded it to Instagram, which many at the time felt to be an awkward and unnecessary move.
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