Macklemore has carved out a niche for himself as a feel-good, chill-vibes rapper who spouts messages of love and acceptance. While this is all well and good, it hinges on the concept of sincerity.
If he's sincere in his music then he's a straight, white, guy who preaches messages of tolerance and bonhomie. While this can lead to some problematic situations, it is, by and large, something positive.
If he's being insincere, then he's exploiting changing tides in society to make a buck. Which, for a pop musician, is par for the course, but more of an evil than a virtue.
It is this contingency on sincerity that has lead to innumerable debates about the merits of the Seattle-bred rapper.
Now Macklemore, alongside his partner in music, Ryan Lewis, have released "Growing Up (Sloane's Song)," featuring Ed Sheeran. The track is the first they've put out in 3 years and is a love letter to Macklemore's newborn daughter.
"I wish that I could say that I was in a 'better place' when I found out the news," writes Macklemore about "Growing Up (Sloane's Song)." "It would make for a far more polished and respectable story. But I think back to that night: praying on the floor at 2 a.m. as Tricia went to the bathroom to take the pregnancy test I'd just purchased from Walgreens."
"I was scared. Scared to start working on new music. Scared of trying again and failing. Scared of the process of staring at myself through a page and seeing someone that I wasn't proud of. Someone that I didn't like. Someone that wasn't ready to be a dad."
He goes on to mention about how he and Lewis wrote the track and that it's both a song about his daughter growing up and his own maturity.
In the lyrics, Macklemore urges his daughter to read the works of black authors and presages her going to the prom with another girl and sneaking her back into the house. It's the kind of "let's all be accepting" stuff that made "Same Love" a phenomenon and Macklemore and Ryan Lewis a mountain of cash.
Considering that this is meant to be a song from him to his daughter, I'm willing to take it at face value--even my cynicism knows some bounds. But will this get all the think piece author to put down their pens? No way.
By the way, Sloane Ava Simone Haggerty, Macklemore's daughter, was born on May 29, 2015.