After making over 140 radio documentaries, I have to say that this Seattle Hip-Hop series has definitely been the best art we’ve created. Mostly because this series is the first where I was able to interview every artist face-to-face. Thanks largely to the help of local music icons Sharlese Metcalf and Jonathan Moore, every artist came into the studios. Of all 10 acts, the one who blew me away most (and there was some stiff competition) was Macklemore. This rapper’s music, philosophy and self-reflection inspires all of us to dig deeper, to question ourselves and also to be proud of the gifts we’re given.
Macklemore’s latest release with Ryan Lewis, the 2010 Vs. EP, contains some of the deepest lyrics ever recorded. I’d go so far as to say it’s kind of the Pink Floyd of hip-hop. Macklemore’s work on the release is edgy, existential and classic, all at once. In this KEXP radio story Macklemore talks about getting his start at Garfield High School in Seattle, calling it a “mecca of hip-hop”. We discuss use of the word “bitch” in hip-hop songs to describe women and why the word is authentic in some cases and wrong in others. And Macklemore lays his opinions out on the line like he always does, with unrelenting honesty.
KEXP Documentaries are created by Michele Myers. With assistance from John Felthous, Sharlese Metcalf and Jonathan Moore. Executive Producer is Kevin Cole. If you would like to follow along more closely in the creation of these radio stories, we post research materials, songs and videos on our Facebook page and on Twitter.