Lets face it, Macklemore is no longer a "Seattle thing" at this point. In fact, he couldnt be further from it with a #1 Billboard hit, songs in NBA spots, and mom's accross the nation rapping along with their kids in their SUV's. Macklemore took to the nets to address the backlash on his newfound fame with an open letter you can find below.
The All Star game intro was seen by millions of people on Sunday who had no idea who we were. My thinking was, if they liked the song they will go and listen to the full version. Those who hear the original song in its entirety will get the core of what gives the song depth. Some might even buy it and become real fans. And guess what version they get? Not the TNT chopped up edit, but the full one.
In my stripped down definition, selling out is compromising your artistic integrity for money/fame. In my heart I can tell you that my personal artistic integrity remained completely intact over the weekend. TNT used our song. They’re still my words. They picked the parts that fit their ad campaign, and visually matched it to us performing, threw in a highlight reel of crazy dunks and had a bunch of kids singing the hook in a gym. Word. I’m all for that. If you take away the consumerism cautionary core of Wings, a story still remains. And that story is one that I’m still proud of, and it’s dope to me that it’s relatable enough for TNT to want to use it.
I would understand the “Macklemore sold out” complaints more if we matched Wings to a shoe commercial. That would be blatant irony, it would completely contradict the song and would appear as a sell out move. But an NBA commercial? The NBA has very little to do with what Wings was really about. The songs subject is about shoes, but the guts of the record are about consumer culture. Is the NBA tied up in this culture and related in some way? Of course. All companies selling a product are. But this is the result of American culture. Does the NBA happen to fall under the capitalist umbrella? Absolutely. But it’s no different than the brands you’re currently wearing, the company that manufactured the couch that you’re sitting on or the computer/phone you’re staring into while reading this.
If there was any trace of irony by Wings being one of the official songs of the 2013 All Star Game, that’s great. That means that we won. The song about consumerism was embraced on a national level, and played to the entire country of sports fans that tuned in. More people download the song, got the truth (the actual/full song) and we converted strangers that didn’t know who we were into fans. If that’s selling out to you, word. But to me that’s nothing but an all around win.