[Interview] Rapper Macklemore On The Meaning Of His Name, Love & Voting

Photo: (Getty)

If you know who Macklemore is, awesome! If you don’t, it’s all good ’cause you’re about to learn about a rapper that’s like no other.

Ben Haggerty aka “Macklemore” has a raspy, husky voice. The kind of voice that makes you wish he was your phone sex operator. He looks like he could pass as Ryan Gosling’s cousin. He’s got that same floppy-haired-and-light-eyes white boy look. And he happens to be as stylish as Ry Gos too. Voice and looks aside, Macklemore is a powerful, conscious rapper, addressing issues like gay marriage and his past addiction to Oxycotin. He’s honest, raw and his words combined with beats produced by Ryan Lewis, are quality.

The 29-year-old proudly hails from Seattle and has been making music for a minute — his first EP came out in 2000. This year he was honored in XXL‘s magazine’s esteemed Freshman Class issue, in which they highlight the next big hip hop artists in the game. Macklemore graced the magazine’s cover along with Iggy Azalea and Machine Gun Kelly.

Photo: Congrats Macklemore!!!! (Photo: XXL)

It’s def. been a good year for Macklemore as he also released, “Same Love,” a song in support of same sex marriage. The music video alone is worthy of a Video Music Award and has received over 6 million views on YouTube.

+Watch Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Same Love” featuring Mary Lambert.

Celebrities like Elizabeth Banks tweeted about the song and Macklemore along with Ryan Lewis performed the song on “Ellen,” receiving a standing ovation. Yeah, the song is THAT good. The duo are currently on tour right now, having sold out most of their shows.  Yeah, they’re THAT good.

Lucky for you and I, Macklemore took some time to answer some questions below about what his name is all about, if he’s single or not (My heart slightly shattered into pieces when I read his answer.), VOTING today and other stuff! Read it in all its glory below.

ACT: OK, first things first: What does the name Macklemore mean?

MACKLEMORE: When I was 17 I was living in Brooklyn, NY for the summer. I was young, creative, boney and drunk a lot of the time. I use to go to thrift shops and buy the most flamboyant plaid outfits. On some Prince meets Bob Barker meets your grandpa meets Matt Lauer on sherm. When I’d go out in the city and kick it, I would dress up in these garments. When I did this I was known as “Professor Macklemore.” Later, I realized that I wasn’t a professor of anything but the name Macklemore followed me.

Photo: Macklemore in Professor Macklemore mode? (Photo: Macklemore’s Facebook)

ACT: Congrats on the new album, The Heist. How is this album different from your previous ones?

MACKLEMORE: I use music to capture the moment. These are new sounds and textures. Concepts. Thoughts. Cadences. Styles. It’s the last 3 years of experiences wrapped up into one album.

ACT: How does it feel to be in XXL’s Freshman Class this year?

MACKLEMORE: Man. I loved that. I pulled a all nighter in the studio and my manager woke me up with the news. He photoshopped my head on Lil B’s body from the year before. I couldn’t believe it at first. I’d always want to be in the freshman class, and to be aknowledged on that level was really validating. I know I wasn’t on a lot of people’s radar in terms of the normal XXL magazine reader. But it was a huge look for industry buzz and internet drama. A ton of people on World Star asking who the hell is this pale face. It was great. A lot of labels called that week. Definitely an exciting time. Felt good to represent my city and put on for Seattle.

ACT: Your music video for “Same Love.” Is very powerful. Not gonna lie it made us tear up! Was there a reason you penned the song?

MACKLEMORE: You can only watch injustice go on for so long until you’re compelled to say something. To speak out against it. I read an article about a 13-year-old kid who committed suicide because he was ridiculed at school over being gay. That was it. I had to say something.

ACT: While we’re on the topic of love…Are you single? If yes, what do you look for in a partner?

MACKLEMORE: I am not single. F***! Nah, I have an incredible girlfriend who is everything to me. She also stunt doubles as our tour manager and runs our merch business. She is beautiful, challenges me to be of service to others and makes me laugh. She is one of the more creative people I know. That is so important. She encourages my art and knows that it starts with me being good with my connection to the universe.

My partner has to have good sized bones.

ACT: You recently performed with a “Vote Love” tank top on. What does that mean? Are you voting today?

MACKLEMORE: Vote Love means vote equality. It means vote change. It means vote what’s right for humanity. And yes, I’m definitely voting

Photo: Macklemore is mad patriotic. (Photo: Macklemore’s Facebook)

ACT: Why would tell your fans it’s important to go out and vote today?

MACKLEMORE: I think our system can be disenfranchising at times. Its easy to view politicians as corrupt and voting essentially an act of picking the lesser of two evils. I understand that perspective and feel its valid. BUT there is a big difference between Obama and Romney. There are always tons of statewide initiatives, referendums and propositions that drastically affect the lives and rights of the people. It’s our right to vote and stand for the issues we believe in.

Photo: Macklemore is bringing it! (Photo: Macklemore’s Facebook)

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