Macklemore admitted that he had a difficult time getting slammed for his work in 2012's The Heist.
During the 56th GRAMMY Awards, Kendrick Lamar's critically acclaimed debut album, good kid, m.A.d city, was famously defeated by the media, who then and now refer to it as the "infamous snub." The Seattle rapper explained that before he was labeled a culture vulture.
"I think that it did hurt my feelings at the very start," he said. "When 'Thrift Shop' was at its height and the biggest song in the world, that's when the think pieces started coming out around cultural appropriation, and one hit wonder, and all of this assessment and analysis. We were at a different place with whiteness in Hip Hop a decade ago. It was a very different time."
The "Dance Off" entertainer said he began to pay attention to what was being said and became more self-assured, understanding that he "can't control who resonates with [his] art."
"I get to tell my story. That's what I'm in charge of." He continued. "What happens after that is totally out of my control, I am powerless." I won the Grammys, apologized to Kendrick, and everyone's like, 'You suck.' I'm like, 'Oh my God.'
"Because everything else said about me was not my truth." If I know myself, if I'm coming from a place of profound love rather than fear, if I'm coming from a place of, 'This is authentically me, take it or leave it,' it's not my business what the final outcome will be. I don't control others' opinions.
Macklemore concluded his conversation by declaring that he had to ignore the criticisms against his art while making albums after The Heist.
“I’m the best version of myself when I let go of all of this, and I have the best chance of transforming the world if I can.”
On March 3, 2023, the rapper released his first studio album, BEN. DJ Premier, Jackson Lee Morgan, Morray, NLE Choppa, Sarah Barthel, Vic Daggs II, and others make guest appearances.