The Seahawks tweeted out this morning that Macklemore and Ryan Lewis will be the halftime performers for the NFC Championship Game, which should come as no surprise to anyone who has been paying attention to the hip hop artist’s latest antics. Macklemore was on the sidelines for the Seahawks-Saints Divisional Round matchup last Saturday, chumming it up with ol’ Petey, and he also fashioned his very own piece of this rivalry when he made a “49ers suck” jacket this week. It’s a good thing the Seahawks aren’t selling tickets to 49ers supporters, because the only thing more obnoxious than a building filled with Seahawks fans is a building filled with Seahawks fans listening to Macklemore.
Okay, before you tell me that this post is slanted because he’s a Seahawks fan, let me be clear: I’ve hated Macklemore for a long time. I hated him before “Thrift Shop” was playing on at least one of my five FM presets at all hours of the day. I hated Macklemore long before I even knew he was from Seattle. Here’s the list of Macklemore songs I like:
… and it’s only because of the Red Hot Chili Peppers sample. That’s it.
This doesn’t mean I hate all artists that hail from the northwest. I love Nirvana. I also love Blue Scholars. Who doesn’t love Sir Mix-A-Lot? Oh, you didn’t know Sir Mix-A-Lot was from Seattle? “Posse On Broadway” isn’t about New York, folks.
I get it – he’s an independent artist who’s now popping out chart-topping hits with a big middle finger to THE MAN. He stands for some admirable causes, such as gay marriage and abstinence from drugs. All around good dude, I’m sure.
But I still hate him. My hate doesn’t need to be rational, and I don’t have to explain it, although I’ll try.
I was a hip hop head in high school, and more specifically, I was an underground hip hop head. I had Living Legends, Atmosphere and Hieroglyphics — among many other super obscure artists — in heavy rotation. This was some time before hipsters, but my opinions on music were very much in line with the hipster stereotype. If the popular kids listened to it, I no longer wanted any part of it. See, that was the good thing about groups like Living Legends: they were independent and they never topped the charts. As long as they stayed off of the radio, their music was never shoved down my throat the way Macklemore has been.
So yeah, Macklemore is independent, but he’s also mainstream. In the great war of musical tastes, this would be considered straddling the picket lines. If being “independent” means being free from the influence of the industry, then Macklemore isn’t truly “independent.” He’s catering to hipsters — hipsters who buck trends like doing drugs, not because they really care about not doing drugs, but because many people think it’s cool to do drugs and cool isn’t cool to hipsters. Get it? Got it? Good.
I digress. Let’s bring this back to football. Macklemore is the Johnny-come-lately kind of bandwagon artist that I just can’t endorse. This violation isn’t lost on Bay Area artists, either. Remember “Who’s Got It Better Than Us?” by Bailey? That song was absolute trash, and it was totally contrived, just like every other “fan anthem” ever produced. French Montana came out with another 49ers anthem called “Ain’t Worried Bout Nothin” with E-40, and luckily I’ve only heard it once, because it was the height of stupidity. It even shouts out Kyle Williams, because apparently French didn’t have the foresight to leave out players that would have absolutely no impact on this Super Bowl run.
I’ve always thought “fan anthems” should come to be naturally, rather than being forced. Not that I love “Tony Montana,” but that song became an anthem for the 2011 49ers because the players wanted it to be. My victory song for the 49ers was always “SF Anthem” by San Quinn, and not because Quinn used it as a means of piggybacking on the team’s success for his own personal gain. It’s because “handle bricks in the back of Candlestick / house in Twin Peaks, view panoramic / still with the cannon, 40 or 50 caliber / five-time champion, destroy any challenger / hit like Barry, score like Jerry / still right here, Fillmoe the merry” is one of the greatest finales in the history of San Francisco hip hop.
But I wouldn’t expect any less from San Quinn. He’s been representing the 49ers since they sucked, and long before that too. Macklemore just showed up the The Clink last week in his brand new 12 jersey because he’s probably a brand new 12. Hell, he’s probably crafting his own Seahawks anthem as we speak. Not that Macklemore needs the publicity (the girls my fiancée babysits absolutely love him), but he’s certainly getting it by jumping on the Seahawks bandwagon two games before the Super Bowl and trying to be every Seattle fan’s favorite artist. I must have missed Macklemore’s shout outs to Tarvaris Jackson back when neither the 49ers nor the Seahawks could even win this once-terrible division. But here he is now, showing exactly why my cup of Macklemore hatred hath truly runneth over.