I don’t think that title is really premature in saying what a lot of people are thinking. Macklemore really can be the next Eminem if he plays his cards right. The Seattle native continues to take 2013 by storm again last night with his performance of his new single “Can’t Hold Us” featuring Ray Dalton at the 2013 MTV Movie Awards. Many said that was the highlight of the night and this is a freaking movie award show (then again it’s MTV, so we are lucky it wasn’t a Best Teen Mom Shore Buckwild Show).
Macklemore was known by many a hip-hop tastemakers for a while now but no one really understood who this guy was until late 2012 whe a song about a thrift shop came into play. Little do people know this guy, who turns 30 later this year, has been in the game for over a decade now, right around the time that Eminem broke through.
He released his first full fledged EP back in 2000 under the name “Professor Macklemore”. He quickly dropped the professor aspect of things but substance abuse plagued his chances of really becoming the star that he is today. These substances had him relapse on a number of occasions, most recently in 2011. Yet during this time he released some truly amazing music, such as “The Unplanned Mixtape” and “The VS Redux” in 2009 with his constant companion and DJ Ryan Lewis. That is some of his best work in my opinion, as you can tell what he was going through during that time.
Now with his album “The Heist” in full swing, “Thrift Shop” topping the charts for weeks and his subsequent song “Can’t Hold Us” climbing up the charts, we gotta wonder, is he the next big thing? The next Eminem? Let’s weigh this in and see.
Going beyond race, Eminem truly defines what an MC is and how, at least for my generation, he was our Kurt Cobain. He was our Elvis Presley, he was our Michael Jackson. He was a movement in itself for the simple fact that he went so far outside the boundary lines of what an artist is supposed to do and speak from his heart on what he was going on. “The Marshall Mathers LP” and “The Slim Shady LP” are in my opinion two of the best hip-hop albums ever with the former being the best one to be released in the new millennium. He has even impressed as a featured artist on other people’s tracks, most notably Drake’s “Forever”. He truly understands his gift of gab and uses it to its best extent.
What i just wrote is something that Macklemore is getting the hang of. “The Heist” is an amazing second album and is reminiscent of things that Eminem did. They both have that juxtaposition of being able to do funny songs (Thrift Shop) and then serious ones that really make you think (Wings). The stand out track here is “Same Love”, written in the support of same-sex marriage. It’s truly an amazingly written song and something really out of left field when it comes to a straight dude and hip-hop head writing about a very controversial topic. This can parlay to any of the controversial topics that Em wrote about, including anything from “Love The Way You Lie” about domestic violence and “Stan” about a deranged fan. Regardless, they make you think, something other rappers can’t seem to make you do.
So what is the verdict overall with this? Macklemore could no doubt be the next Eminem in my book. No doubt, even though he has been in the game for a minute, that he will be all over the Best New Artist categories at a ton of award shows and be on everyone’s forefront similarly to how Eminem is. Could they do a duet one day? Only one can hope. For me, he’s got it in him to go the long haul. Best of luck to him in the future.