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13 Fans On Why They Love Macklemore’s Message

We talked to fans waiting in line for the Seattle rapper’s last show of his U.S. tour with Ryan Lewis.

Photographer Mary Kang
13 Fans On Why They Love Macklemore’s Message

There’s that unmistakable trumpet, that what-what-what-what, and you’ll know the song instantly. “Thrift Shop” is one of Macklemore’s biggest hits from 2012, but, as he tells a packed crowd in New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom, it’s also one of the first things that his one-year-old daughter learned how to say. Macklemore has been dishing out quirky bangers ever since his “grandpa style” video for “Thrift Shop” came out. On Tuesday night, the Seattle rapper relived the viral music videos that launched his career to mainstream success. He had the crowd rippling with energy for “Can’t Hold Us,” and rocked his signature spiky, blonde wig and silver suit for “And We Danced.” Then the stage glowed a bright purple as he lip synced and danced to “Kiss” in honor of the late Prince.

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“The number one thing that I love about New York… is the food!” Macklemore admitted before performing “Let’s Eat," as he handed out cupcakes. Later, he flung cookies to fans on the third level balcony, in an attempt to set a new “cookie throwing” world record. Food flinging aside, Macklemore took on a more serious tone with his performance of “Same Love.” Paying tribute to the lives lost and affected in the tragic shooting in Orlando, he made a powerful statement: “At the end of the day, fear can never overpower love.”

For our second installment of the Plus Ones series, presented by StubHub, we talked to 13 dedicated fans waiting in line — some who'd been there as early as 8 a.m. — about Macklemore’s message and what drew them out to New York to see him live.

13 Fans On Why They Love Macklemore’s Message


Christian, 24

Arkansas

13 Fans On Why They Love Macklemore’s Message
13 Fans On Why They Love Macklemore’s Message

What part of Macklemore’s message resonates with you?

I’ve kind of grown up with human rights campaigns [around me] and all the issues surrounding same sex marriage, so that’s definitely hit me for a while now.

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What makes you want to see him live?

I think for this tour, I was just really excited by the video that he put out. How Macklemore talked about how he didn’t want to just put out this garbage music, he wanted to put out the real thing produced by him and written from his soul. And that’s what music is and I think that’s what’s gonna make an incredible show.

Becky, 34

New Jersey

13 Fans On Why They Love Macklemore’s Message
13 Fans On Why They Love Macklemore’s Message

What part of Macklemore's message resonates with you?

Be yourself no matter what, you don’t have to be cool to fit in a certain type of crowd. Being you is cool and being you is enough.

What makes you want to see him live?

One of his lines, If you aren’t scared of what you created, you aren’t done yet, is a huge inspiration to me. I actually have it hanging in my office as a quote. And he and Eric Nally are two huge creative inspirations for me so I came in by myself, just for the moment.

Tedrick, 29 and Gase, 20

California and Idaho

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13 Fans On Why They Love Macklemore’s Message
13 Fans On Why They Love Macklemore’s Message

What part of Macklemore's message resonates with you?

Tedrick: "White Privilege II" was super dope the way that Macklemore's a white guy and is able to say, "Look, I have this privilege from the color of my skin, but I don't wanna take credit for that." I think that’s an awesome thing to do.

Gase: I love that song and the part Where we take all we want from black culture, take all we want from black lives. Being a hip-hop dancer, we do that. We take all their culture. We take their moves, their songs. We take all this, but when do we give back? So when I heard that song, it just really hit me hard, it really made me think.

What makes you want to see Macklemore live?

Gase: I went to their show back in Idaho and I was chosen for the dance off but when I was walking up to the front of the stage people wouldn’t let me through and I couldn’t get to the front in time, so Macklemore chose two random people instead. I’m here to try it again.

Tedrick: Every time I see Macklemore perform on television, he’s a really energetic performer. I wanted to see it person. He really gets the crowd hyped. A lot of performers make the show about them, but he doesn’t make it about himself. He makes it about the crowd.

McKayla, 22 and Nathan, 22

Michigan

13 Fans On Why They Love Macklemore’s Message
13 Fans On Why They Love Macklemore’s Message
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What part of Macklemore's message resonates with you?

Michaela: With "White Privilege II," I identified with it a lot because he talks about not knowing where your place is. Like wanting to stand with people that you love, but not knowing exactly where you should stand and how to do it.

Nathan: We both went to school for musical theater and are very integrated in the gay community. We’re both straight but we’re both very much allies, most of our friends are in it and a lot of them were affected by tragedy in Orlando. The whole message in "Same Love" is really really powerful for us.

What makes you want to see him live?

Nathan: It was actually "The Day of the Life of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis," where Macklemore introduces himself as Ben and he says something that he’s afraid of. It made it really cool because it humanized him and made him a real person instead of his star that I held up so highly.

Jenna, 19

Idaho

13 Fans On Why They Love Macklemore’s Message
13 Fans On Why They Love Macklemore’s Message

What part of Macklemore's message resonates with you?

I think it's important that he writes songs about gay people. I think everyone should be able to be themselves and be able to be who they are without hiding. I like that he supports that.

What makes you want to see him live?

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I’m deaf, so I can only feel the bass, but I’ve seen all of Macklemore’s music videos with closed captions. I love feeling the bass and seeing how everybody just goes crazy. I really want to see him play "Thrift Shop." It's so funny and I work at a thrift shop [laughs].

Justine, 21 and Megan, 20

Washington

13 Fans On Why They Love Macklemore’s Message
13 Fans On Why They Love Macklemore’s Message

What part of Macklemore's message resonates with you?

Megan: Definitely the LGBTQ stuff. I remember he did that performance of the song where multiple people got married. That was really amazing.

Justine: I think all of his human rights support stuff is really cool. I know a lot of people like kind of talk shit about him for it. “He’s a straight white man, he doesn’t have a place in this conversation.” To some degree I think that’s true, but I also think that he’s using his place as a straight white man to talk to other straight white men so that maybe they will listen to those people who actually support those issues have to say. I think he uses his platform in a positive way.

What makes you want to see Macklemore live?

Megan: I really want to see Eric Nally’s crazy dance move that he does in the "Downtown Music" video because I don’t get how it’s physically possible.

Justine: I’m really excited to see him because he’s very energetic about performing. I think that the attitude that he takes when he performs live is really cool. He’s making music to perform live like not just to make his own music.

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Kaitlin, 22 and Colin, 21

Washington

13 Fans On Why They Love Macklemore’s Message
13 Fans On Why They Love Macklemore’s Message

What part of Macklemore's message resonates with you?

Kaitlin: I appreciate and can really get behind the fact that he is trying to get a conversation going that's hard to have. He's is willing to talk about things that, as someone who's white, are truly difficult to really empathize with and understand. But that does not mean that you should back off and not try to understand.

Colin: Even if you don't necessarily agree with what he's saying, it's cool to see when artists use music to motivate people to take a stance on an issue or to become politically involved. One of my favorite parts about him is that he has very serious songs and then he has really funny songs. He doesn't always take himself super seriously, which is nice.

What makes you want to see Macklemore live?

Kaitlin: He brings as much energy to the show as he does in music videos. He's being genuine when he makes his videos so fun.

Colin: One of the nice things is that he reminds me of Seattle and how much I want to go back.

Jordan, 19

New York

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13 Fans On Why They Love Macklemore’s Message
13 Fans On Why They Love Macklemore’s Message

What part of Macklemore's message resonates with you?

I appreciate how he makes everyone feel great and comfortable with themselves through his work. I can tell that he really cares about his fans.

What makes you want to see Macklemore live?

I've been a fan of Macklemore for a while, and I've seen all his videos. I appreciate his lyricism and production a lot.

Stephanie, 19

New York

13 Fans On Why They Love Macklemore’s Message
13 Fans On Why They Love Macklemore’s Message

What part of Macklemore's message resonates with you?

The message that everyone should be equal. Everyone should learn to respect each other because you're not gonna change just because someone doesn't like who you are. He's showing how one person's music can make a difference for everybody.

What makes you want to see him live?

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I watch a lot of his performances online and I loved his last album. He has a lot of energy and I wanted to be able to finally see it in person.


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13 Fans On Why They Love Macklemore’s Message