During an appearance on Talib Kweli and Jasmin Leigh’s People’s Party podcast, Macklemore talks about his Grammy win for “The Heist” over Kendrick Lamar’s “Good Kid, M.A.A.D City”. He also shares how his text message to Kendrick after the award show was viewed as “white guilt”.
“It wasn’t just the Grammys that we won. We won every f*cking thing,” said Macklemore when asked how he feels about winning over Kendrick. “There was a big conversation around whether we should be in the Best Rap Album category, and I’m like, ‘What the f*ck? Do I not rap? Is this not a rap album?’ I get that there are pop sensibilities. I get that there are unapologetic pop moments. But is ‘Jimmy Iovine’ not a rap song?’ Is ‘Make The Money’ not a rap song?”, said Macklemore.
He continued, “I’m struggling with like, ‘Damn, I’m benefiting from the system I’ve been calling out since I was 20 years old,'” he said. “Here I am at the highest level of artistic merit, the GRAMMYs, and here I am benefiting from the same sh*t I’ve been talking about. So I was conflicted. People want to say it was guilt. It was, ‘He feels guilty about being white.’ That’s so surface level. Was there an air of that? Absolutely. Was that the reason? Absolutely not at the forefront.”