Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday we offer songs by local artists. Today’s selection, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is the self-released single “My Oh My” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.
Today’s song is a personal elegy to a Seattle sports icon by one of our city’s fastest rising stars. Ben Haggerty, better known as Seattle hip hop emcee Macklemore, penned this song with local producer Ryan Lewis and a released video for it in December in response to the death of Dave Niehaus, the beloved Mariners announcer, last November. It created quite a sensation and gathered a huge cross-over audience as music and sports fans alike quickly shared it across the internet and all over the world. This was no fancy marketing ploy, though. When you hear Haggerty’s heartfelt lyrics and Lewis’ somber yet inspiring music spill out of whatever device you are listening to, there’ll be moments you’ll find yourself getting choked up.
Macklemore wrote on his blog:
“Dave Niehaus was not only the voice of the Seattle Mariners, he was the voice of my childhood. Some of my most prized memories, growing up as a kid, are accompanied with his voice narrating the moment. He was more than just another radio announcer. His on-air personality was so genuine, that you had a sense of who the man was and what he stood for, by simply listening to him call a game… For me, Niehaus was an imperative part of not only my upbringing, but of Seattle’s unique history and culture. From his signature “My Oh My” catch phrase, to the heart and passion that exuded from the radio, his presence will be greatly missed in the Northwest. And for those of you outside of the area, hopefully you’ll listen and get a glimpse of not only a Town legend, but one of the greatest announcers to ever have ever called a game.”
There is a deeply powerful and emotional element to many (if not most) of Macklemore’s songs that connect with people on a deeper level, and even though much of his music has a lot of local references, people all over the world identify with him, whether he’s rapping about his hometown and making references to clubs where he spent a lot of time, or talking about the shoes in his closet.
Below is a random sampling of comment’s on Macklemore’s Facebook page.
Sam: Your music is inspirational. We don’t see much of that anymore in the music business (especially in the mainstream crap) keep it up. Spokane needs a show.
Adam: Don’t stop producing this fantastic music! It doesn’t matter if you can relate to the music or not, the lyrics are impressive and the tunes great. Much love from the UK! (You’ll be a hit over here, too).
Ben: Hey Ben, just wanna say I hope you never stop responding to people like you do. It makes you that much more accessible and chill. Keep rapping. Im gonna throw down as much as I can for kickstart
Seeing him steal the show at the City Arts Festival hip hop showcase last fall at The Paramount, you knew that it was only a matter of time before he became larger-than-life here in his hometown, and it wasn’t too surprising when word hit the street about him selling out three nights at The Showbox this month. But it doesn’t seem to inspire jealousy in his peers. It seems like the whole city is pulling for the guy who continues to talk about the love he has for this place and its people. For those of you looking to see his live act (which should not be missed, as he’s a consummate showman!), you might want to check him out on the road. More dates and information can be found on his Myspace page. And in case you haven’t seen it, here’s the official video for “My Oh My”: