Macklemore – “Air Jordans (Live)” Video

I’ve been a huge fan of Seattle rapper Macklemore ever since I picked up a copy of his 2005 album, The Language Of My World.  Ever the conscious emcee, Macklemore is a beautiful lyricist who you can truly tell thinks carefully about each and every bar he lays on a track while not being afraid to address controversial issues.  On the first track of The Language Of My World, “White Privilege,” the emcee acknowledges the benefit of his own skin color while questioning if it is in fact his participation in the genre that is killing it  (I see so many people lost who really try to pretend/ But am I just another white boy who’s caught on to the trend).

Macklemore shows his humour on such tracks as “Fake I.D.”, “Ego,” “Penis Song,” and “Remember High School,” as well as the verse he drops for The Physics’ “Good,” but the tracks that I typically associate with Macklemore deal with deeper issues both in hip hop, society, and his own life.  On the Evan Roman assisted “Contradiction,” Mackelmore questions how best to display the different sides of himself as both a sexist, boastful drug user and a conscious rapper who treats others the way he would want to be treated and who wishes to be a role model to the kids that listen to him (We have a flame, your fire’s ignited by sound/ Are you building the empire up or using your fire to burn it down?).

Other issues Macklemore addresses include society’s treatment of the homeless (“City Don’t Sleep”) and his general love of hip hop (“The Magic”).  Perhaps my favorite Macklemore song is “I Said Hey,” a beautiful ode to hip hop music.  I won’t talk about this song because I’ve attached it below and no words I can write will do it justice.

This video is part of an ongoing series by Michael Hebb and Chase Jarvis called Songs For Eating And Drinking which features several very talented Seattle-area musicians (the rest of the videos can be found at their website).  This is my favorite video in the series thus far (followed closely by the one featuring Geologic of Blue Scholars) because Macklemore uses the simple idea of a pair of Air Jordans as a lens to view the changes both in his own life and in hip hop culture.  It is perhaps the best spoken word piece that I have ever witnessed.

Do I stand for change, or will I stay in my box?
These Nikes helped define me, but I’m trying to take mine off.

Peace, Love, & Hip Hop,

"I Said Hey"

1 comment:

  1. Literally gave me chills the first time I heard it. Saw him last night and him performing it a'cappella was one of the highlights of the night (which is definitely saying something, because it was the best show I've been to).