Just the other week I was chatting with some co-workers about “Where is the next Macklemore album?” The white rapper, who took over 2013 with his hits “Thrift Shop,” “Same Love,” and “Can’t Hold Us,” almost completely stepped out of the public eye after touring. Today, Complex revealed what Ryan Lewis and him were doing the last couple of years and the difficulties that fell upon the duo post-fame.
The profile situated Macklemore trying to figure out what to do with his life post-fame, after the Grammy success and multiple number one songs. Very public with his sobriety, after bouts with addiction, Macklemore was shown in the profile falling back into a habit of smoking weed that took him out of the mental space he worked so hard to achieve pre-fame. But once he learned of his wife’s pregnancy, he kicked the habit.
Yet the story lightly touches on the real question of what the social aim of a new Macklemore and Ryan Lewis album in 2015/2016 is? Beyond the catchiness of the hooks and the paleness of their skin, much of the appeal of the duo was they’re bluntly liberal and socially progressive stances toward topics like gay marriage. However, after a year of Iggy Azalea rap music, and with the leading social movement #blacklivesmatter explicitly being about black voices, the issue of whites performing rap is now even more controversial. As such, there’s a bit of a question of what he’ll want to say. And maybe even what people will be willing to hear him say. Macklemore understands this issue — he wouldn’t write a song called “White Privilege” if he didn’t — so it’ll be cool to see what balance he strikes, knowing people will be ready to dissect everything he’ll say.