Up@dawn 2.0

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Poppin' Philosophies: Final Post 4/4 (Quinlan Odom H1G1)

"We live on the cusp of death thinking it won't be us"

This song is Macklemore's story. Essentially all of his songs are, but this one is special. It's blatant and heart felt and serious. In this song you realize that Macklemore is a victim of everything he speaks against. Like all of us, he too is a victim of society and its' rules. That's his magic, he can relate to his audience and we listen because he's famous. 

"Now he just wanted to act like them
He just wanted to rap like him
Us rappers underestimate the power and the effects we have on these kids"

In the song, Macklemore recognizes this spell rappers and musicians have over their audiences. Not only does he recognize that power but he understands the effects it has. He's been a victim of it too. That's where all these philosophies have come from, his own realization of what he was allowing someone to make him do.  

"Despite how lil' Wayne lives
It's not conducive to being creative
And I know 'cause he's my favorite
And I know 'cause I was off that same mix"

Macklemore is a recovering addict. He started because that's what all the good rappers did. He wanted to be like them and to rap like them. So a guy who started his musical career at 14 got side tracked. By following what other rappers deemed "cool" he ended up losing track of his dream. 

"But he's an alien, I'd sip that shit, pass out or play Playstation
Months later I'm in the same place
No music made, feeling like a failure
And trust me, it's not dope to be 25 and move back to your parents' basement"

We look up to people who follow those societal norms that keep us from being who we are. We try to be them and act like them so that we can have what they have. We can't follow our own dreams because we're headed down someone else's path. Sometimes we aren't the only ones either, we aren't special. It happens to everyone. 

"I've seen Oxycotin take three lives
I grew up with them, we used to chief dimes
I've seen Cocaine bring out the demons inside
Cheatin' and lyin'
Friendships cease, no peace in the mind"

But what can you do? You can't stop rappers from singing about these things let alone doing them. I think Macklemore and Lewis know that to. Every one of their songs is an attempt to atone for the harm done by others before them. That's their ultimate philosophy: be better. They hold themselves to a higher standard because of this. They want to make a positive difference on the lives of their listeners. At the end of "Otherside" Macklemore raps:

"Swore I was goin' be someone
Growing up everyone always does"

Those two sentences have the most impact in the song. They hit a cord that everyone can relate to. You either fear that happening or you've had it happen or you've seen it happen. The point here, though, is what makes you someone? Is that something we've let society define as well? In the song Macklemore is referring to the idea that it takes drug abuse to make him someone in the world he wants to be in. We let society define us so much that it can be deadly. This is Macklemore and Lewis' attempt to change that. 

"And I can't change,
Even if I tried,
Even if I wanted to."
-"Same Love"

I included those lines from "Same Love" because it, essentially, sums up the philosophy of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. One day, life may be like that. Where we don't want to change who we are to fit societal norms because, in that world, we'd all be accepted for who we are. 

1 comment:

  1. "That's their ultimate philosophy: be better."

    They're meliorists? Like me?? Who knew??!!