Macklemore is, no doubt, one of the most exciting musicians, not just rappers, but musicians, in the game today. Just a few months ago, he released the video to his anti-consumerism genius “Wings,” about the idolization of Nike Air Jordans. Today, he comes at the world guns blazing, a day after the drop of the Tha Carter IV, with “Otherside,” about the perils of drug use – especially by rappers, even calling out Lil Wayne by name. Balls for sure.
First of all, this drop straight up amazed me. Yes, the cinematography is amazing, the lyrics are genuine genius (not “fuck bitches, get money” genius…), but the video is for a REMIX of the original “Otherside.” While I love the original, I can see why Macklemore (real name Ben Haggerty) chose this remix. The original, while it contains emotion, also samples heavily from the Red Hot Chili Peppers song of the same name. Honestly, I could see people attaching to the sample, not really taking in the lyrics and full emotion of the song. The remix is also darker, better conveying the tone of the song. Fences, who might have even more tats on his face than Lil Wayne, does an incredible job. It’s brilliancy at its finest.
What I love most about Macklemore is that has lived what he speaks. Yes, he was addicted to drugs – yes, it was while he was making music. He’s been there, and knows what it’s like, which makes his tracks that much more powerful. This idea of “conscious rap” is making itself more prevalent in mainstream rap, no doubt with the success of Lupe Fiasco’s album, Lasers. I love Macklemore, but there’s no way he would be getting this much attention as a white, conscious-rapper from non-Seattle-ans without a bit of help. Don’t get me wrong, I straight up love this guy. Saw him in concert – so much emotion, so happy to be doing what he’s doing.
Appreciate this track. It’s going to save lives.