Boston Rappers on…Macklemore

The biggest rapper in the country plays the TD Garden this month. What does Boston think of him?


Photograph by Zoe Rain

This has been the year of Macklemore. In 2013 the Seattle-based rapper saw three of his songs top the charts, snagged awards from MTV and BET, and appeared on Ellen—twice. While he used to play at Boston’s smaller clubs, such as the Paradise, this time around, he’s headlining the biggest stage in town: the TD Garden, on November 8.

Macklemore has become known for his unconventional subject matter—gay marriage in “Same Love,” thrift shops in “Thrift Shop”—as well as his painfully keen self-awareness. “Am I just another white boy who has caught on to the trend?” he asked in “White Privilege,” a 2005 track. “When I take a step to the mike, is hip-hop closer to the end?”

Good question. For answers, we turned to a few of Boston’s best-known white rappers, from Slaine—who appeared in Ben Affleck’s The Town—to Emerson grad F. Virtue, who came out as gay this summer in his single “Anita Bryant.”


His hustle was crazy, and you got to give credit where credit is due. But I feel like his music is very safe, politically correct, and has no edge. I understand why it’s big, and the type of audience he caters to, and God bless him. I’m not dissing him, it’s just not my thing. Rating: 2/5


Personally I don’t like his music. I don’t like his pronunciation and think that he is feminizing hip-hop. I’m not a fan of the hipster movement and am a masculine guy. I’m about being a man. He’s too soft for me. He probably loves kittens. Rating: 1/5


“Same Love” is a song I agree with, thought about, and could have written if I had the balls to…but I didn’t. That’s why I respect him so much as an artist. Maybe some ideas other than “pop bottles, get money” will sink in with the masses. He’s good for the art. Rating: 5/5


Macklemore is a very true artist and made a hugely positive impact. Having a straight man in rap stand up for gay equality opened the concept up to the public, allowing gay artists to be more openly received. Rating: 4/5

Macklemore in Boston:
A Proportional Timeline

December 2011
The Paradise
Capacity: 933 (Sold Out)

November 2012
House of Blues
Capacity: 2,425 (Sold Out)

April 2013
MIT’s JohnsonAthletic Center
Capacity: 3,750 (Sold Out)

November 2013
TD Garden
Capacity: 12,000+

  • LostinLogic

    Played BMH on April 2011. Sold that out too

  • Sean POG
  • Will

    Rite Hook is a fucking loser, his music is garbage too

  • Brian Griffin

    i understand it’s all personal opinion, but really? what is feminine about conscious hip-hop……so he’s more or less saying he doesn’t like Lupe Fiasco, Nas, Gangstarr, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Kanye West, Tupac, etc. ….as an artist i don’t see how he doesn’t realize that there isn’t just “rap” and “hip-hop” there are sub genres

    • Ronnie Phantom

      he didn’t say conscious hip-hop was feminine, he said Macklemore was feminine. Personally, his pronunciation is a deal breaker for me too.

  • 7worldtraveler

    Rite Hook is obviously insecure in his masculinity. Real men aren’t threatened by kittens.

  • Andy

    Don’t like his music!

  • austin

    “same love” was a publicity stunt, if he came out with it five or ten years ago than hes standing up for the cause, but hes not.. he knows being gay is more openly accepted. or in my eyes openly encouraged.. but regardless he did it for the cash, because the crowd hes aiming for was obv. dollar signs, which is the point of being a sell out artist to make money i guess. I’m not in any way homophobic, but i don’t give him any respect for coming out with a song like that. for one he probably didn’t write it anyways. an two, i think its disrespectful trickery. just my opinion.