Macklemore Talks About Benefiting From Being White In Hip-Hop

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Macklemore sat down for an extensive interview as part of the CRWN series presented by Myspace, and dished on a number of topics from his come up in hip-hop, his struggles with drug addiction, and the experience of being a white rapper accepted by the mainstream.

With his record-setting success on his album The Heist with Ryan Lewis, Macklemore was able to bring attention to issues such as marriage equality that don’t get addressed in hip-hop very often. “I was an underground rapper, and people would always ask me, ‘If you could envision your career, where would it be?’” he said. “And my answer to that has always been, I want to my music to connect with as many people as possible…and continue to be myself on records…I was definitely cautious of ['Same Love'], but it’s my story.”

He also spoke on some issues that do get addressed fairly frequently in hip-hop, namely his struggles with drug addiction. “You ask what took so long in terms of the first album…I was a kid,” he said. “I’d go through periods of being super focused and sober, and then when I would start, I was off the wagon. I was smoking weed all day every day, not writing, drinking a bunch and wilding out…If I wasn’t a drug addict, if I wasn’t somebody who always struggled with moderation I wouldn’t have written songs like ‘Otherside’ or ‘Starting Over,’ and those records have connected with many, many people all over the world.”

The topic of white privilege also cropped up, with Macklemore saying he doesn’t know how successful he’d be if the mainstream white audiences hadn’t embraced him, as well as his opinion on the Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman situation. The three-part interview can be seen over on Myspace, with part one, part two, and part three here.