Peace World. So while watching The Grammys there were a few things I enjoyed and many that I didn’t. I loved Kendrick & Imagine Dragon’s performance and Daft Punk with Pharrell & Stevie Wonder was amazing to witness as well. But what Macklemore and Ryan Lewis was probably the most memorable/amazing thing I witnessed on the Grammys EVER!

There were a lot of opinions about it online and I didn’t post my thoughts simply because I couldn’t find the perfect words to articulate them… and then I read this Facebook status below, from my good friend and fellow artist (he’s the illustrator of my Substantial vs. Samurai Champloo cover), Micah “Blacklight” Lee. PLEASE READ!

OoooooKAY! lots on the brain at the mo- let’s dive right in shall we?
I didn’t watch the grammy’s. no surprise BUT, I DID see the Macklemore stuff swimming round the interwebs, the haters, the lovers, the love haters… and I’ve got a lil sumthin to say bout it.

Hip Hop was never about the flippin grammy’s. In fact, it took a LONG time for it to even be recognized as music that should BE on the grammy’s. So if an artist doesn’t win one, or isn’t nominated for one, I think that says SQUAT about that artist, the state of hip-hop, or any other damn thing other than they didn’t get one.

I can’t remember a time I was one hundred percent down with who they selected and didn’t select and who won/didn’t win.. pretty much ever. even when I was feelin it.

NOW, I won’t act like I don’t think race is one of the factors at play in Macklemore walking off with so many grammy’s in the categories that he did, and I won’t say whether I think he deserved/didn’t deserve any of them because that would be me lending credence to the fact that they’re not sort of unfairly rigged in the first place [which I’m not entirely sure of] BUT..

then there’s the matter of his performance. He stood up before a crowd of THOUSANDS, more than that if you count all the people who watched from their homes- and performed a song proclaiming to the WORLD that love is love no matter your color, your sexual preference, your gender, your ANYTHING. To put actions where words were, he reinforced the performance by having Queen Latifah act as priestess and marry thirty plus couples, some of them interracial, some of them same-sex, some of them tattooed and younger and older- had them exchange rings, vows and marry each other right there.. on national television, tears in their eyes.. THAT was EPIC.
THAT was amazing, uplifting, holy shittery and THAT, is the reason I have never been so proud of a hip-hop artist since the day I first heard Public Enemy scream “FIGHT THE POWER!” for the first time.

there are those who will hate cuz he’s white, there are those who will hate cuz they think he’s not hip-hop.. but people forget that there has never been a huge artist that didn’t have haters.. EVER. particularly in the world of hip-hop.

but what the haters will NEVER understand is that there isn’t another hip-hop artist out right now who would have come onto such a MONUMENTALLY HUGE stage and been WILLING to perform a song proclaiming something so profoundly uplifting, so ridiculously common sense, full of truth and HELLISHLY inspiring because of it. I assert that what he’s doing is nothing short of changing the world. To take your noteriety and DO something meaningful with it, SAY something that has nothing to do with your car, or how much your jewelry costs.. is NOT the norm. and yes, he’s got silly songs too.. but he’s got THIS one and others like it to keep it movin and profound.

I am SO proud he thinks of himself as an MC, so proud he was raised in his own eyes as a Hip-Hop head.. so proud that for a single, POWERFUL, really poignant moment, a hip-hop artist, white, black, polka-flippin-dot or yellow, could stand at the forefront of a burgeoning movement I have the utmost support for, and proclaim that SOMEbody in hip-hop feels the same way as so much of the rest of the world- whether the vast majority of hip-hop artists agree or not.

THIS is why I felt the need to speak my piece on this.
He’s talking about something so much bigger than himself. He’s speaking to the millions of people out there who’ve had to listen to a genre that indeed HATES them, watch movies and be the butt of jokes that routinely strip them of their humanity.. he’s speaking to our cousins, sisters, brothers, fathers, mothers.. PEOPLE all of them.. and telling them not only is it okay, but he’s willing to tell that to the entire planet. THAT’s what hip-hop CAN be used for. THAT’s something worth applauding.. and THAT.. I will never hate on. no matter what color the speaker is.

“if I was gay,
I’d think hip-hop hates me
have you read through the comments on Youtube lately?
‘Man that’s gay!’ gets thrown around on the daily
we’ve become so numb to what we’re saying..”
-Macklemore in “Same Love”