Macklemore’s reputation precedes him, he’s a good guy, grandma loving rapper from Seattle (the home of grunge)—it’s no wonder he comes packed with a powerful message. Born Benjamin Haggerty, Macklemore’s rise to fame has been accompanied by a Grammy grab (and a slew of nominations) for his debut/collaborative album The Heist (Macklemore LLC, 2012). His work, albeit recognized in accolade, also captures stories of struggle, pain, and ultimately triumph (which has reigned supreme in past/current political climates). An advocate for gay rights, racial equality, and drug/alcohol/addiction prevention (among other issues), Macklemore has become a sort of poster boy for a new generation starved for political change and social justice. On Friday night he stopped by New York City’s sold out Terminal 5 in support of his message and his sophomore album Gemini (Bendo, 2017).
The spirit of Macklemore’s fans is hard to capture, and their energy is unparalleled. Before the main event even started, the venue was pulsating, the crowd anticipating, and the atmosphere utterly escalating. It’s hard to know what to expect, other than a good time. Macklemore looks and acts like he was born on stage (it’s his home and he’s as inviting as any good host). His presence implies that even in bad times things can be good--with anecdotes about family, love, and life between songs. There’s a teenage heartthrob feel to the whole evening as Macklemore plays hit after hit (including "White Walls", "Thrift Shop", and "Can't Hold Us")—he’s so easy to love it's almost hard not to be envious of his charm, pepped-up look, spunky smile, and insatiable beats. In a city full of ten million people, with endless Friday night options, there really was/is no better way to kick off the weekend than with Macklemore and the fans who adore him.