It’s hard to define the music of Macklemore. Some describe it as hip-hop and/or rap, but I just like his lyrics. He’s won two Grammys, and his songs have nearly 13 billion streams. He’s also an addict, and when he relapsed during the pandemic, he nearly died. In March, he was interviewed by Scott Simon on NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday.
Macklemore had just released his first album in five years, Ben, and Simon asked about it. Macklemore said “each album is a process of self-discovery. So “Ben” is a return to my origin story, which is making art for the sake of art, making music because I love the creation of it – not because of the music business, but because of the music itself.”
In the song Tail Lights, the refrain goes like this
I see a fork in the road
I don’t know what path I’m taking
But my compass is broke
And I don’t know if I’ma make it.
Simon asked him about that fork in the road. Macklemore’s response included, “Do I want to push into fulfillment and meaning or do I want to push into comfort and ease? There’s really only one way. Do the work, show up and keep pushing forward because this is where life feels fulfilling, like it has real purpose and intentionality behind it. And when I get in that place, then the universe starts to make sense.”
Those taillights in the song represent God out ahead, showing him the path. He raps
I know tonight it was always on glow
And when I was lost, I was on the right road
Taillights ahead as I drive slow
Just a right turn then I find my way home
His introspection makes me think about the forks in the road I have faced and may face in the future. I hope that he can continue on his path to fulfillment and meaning.
Take care and stay safe.
Kelly Corrigan Wonders
This podcast is a place for people who like to laugh while they think and find it useful to look closely at ourselves and our weird ways in the hopes that knowing more and feeling more will help us to do better. A former newspaper columnist and four time bestselling author, Kelly wonders about loads of stuff: Is knowing more always good? Can we trust our gut? How does change actually happen? Each episode ends with Kelly’s shortlist of takeaways, appropriate for refrigerator doors, bulletin boards and notes to your children.