field notes for creating: macklemore

This past Saturday morning found me grooving in the car, with my kids laughing at me from the back seat. My groove track? White Walls by Macklemore (the clean radio version…sheeesh). While I enjoy many of Macklemore’s rap jams, I am impressed by this artist’s hustle.

Macklemore (Ben Haggerty) has been making music since 2000, releasing three EP’s and two albums, all without a record label. In fact The Heist, the debut collaboration with Ryan Lewis, reached number 1 on iTunes within hours of being released.* The first ‘hit’, “Thrift Shop” is the first independently distributed title to achieve the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart since Lisa Loeb’s Stay from 1994.**

There may have been a time when Macklemore would have been jazzed for some big music executive love. And there was most likely years of slogging and fighting trying to break into the business. But this guy made it. He chased a childhood dream with perseverance and persistence. No pay outs to record companies. No one telling him how it should be done. He made and is making his art his way. Whether you like his music or not, you gotta respect that.


“Trust me, on my I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T shit hustlin’
Chasing dreams since I was fourteen
With the four-track, bussing
Halfway cross that city with the backpack
Fat cat, crushing labels out here, nah, they can’t tell me nothing
We give that to the people, spread it across the country
Labels out here, nah they can’t tell me nothing
We give it to the people, spread it across the country”

{from “Can’t Hold Us” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis}

* & ** Thank you Wikipedia


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