Today will go down as one of the more heartbreaking days in hip hop history. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ “Thrift Shop” is officially the best rap song of all time – according to Billboard. Take a minute everyone, this hurts us all. I have zero problem with Macklemore selling 20 gazillion records, winning a bunch of Grammys, or texting fuckboy shit to better rappers. All of that is totally cool. What I do have a problem with, is my children looking at the history books (or nook, or whatever device my children are using) and thinking that Macklemore has the best rap song ever.
The problem here is history. That shit is incredibly important. When we think of the civil rights movement, Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, and Martin Luther King come to mind – not Ella Baker. Whether that’s fair or not, it doesn’t matter. Historians, press, and the general public focused on certain individuals, therefore 50 years down the line those are the heroes we remember. But there were tons of others – the unsung heroes.
My children are going to want to know what the hip hop climate was like when I just started my career. They’re going to say, “Daddy, why did you get into hip hop writing? What about rap made you fall head over heels in love.” When they look up rap in 2014 and think that Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop” is what made me start writing I’m going to cry. They need to know that there was much more going on, so many great artists. Will they know about ScHoolboy Q? What if they don’t know about Dipset and Killa? These are the questions that keep me up at night.
This is by no means Macklemore’s fault. His record got the most spins on the radio so he’s number one. I’m sure he too feels some type of way about the accomplishment. Judging from past experiences it’s likely he’ll make a public apology for being the best. Wouldn’t that be characteristic of Macklemore? All I can ask is that we keep the unsung heroes in mind while we’re here making history, because that’s what we’re all doing – making history. Also, an apology text from Macklemore would be nice. Thanks in advance.