One of my favorite artists right now is Seattle rapper Macklemore. On the eve of this in-studio session at KEXP, he and his DJ/producer Ryan Lewis had just sold out three nights at local venue The Showbox at the Market — an impressive feat for a local act, but not surprising for anyone who's seen Macklemore live before.
Macklemore's amazing passion and energy was barely contained in our small performance space. His joy is palpable: Now two years sober, Macklemore sounds stronger and sharper than ever, not to mention committed to getting his music out there, even if that means giving it away as free downloads on his website.
One of the songs you can download free is "Wing$," a track inspired by the childhood desire to have the best basketball sneakers interwoven with themes of identity and consumerism. Dressed in a white tank top, like he just came off the courts himself, Macklemore threw himself into a passionate rendition, as Ryan Lewis coolly played the samples of the schoolgirl choir they'd commissioned to sing back-up on the recorded version.
Appropriately enough, Macklemore kicked off his own shoes for his final song, getting comfortable before launching into a spirited version of "Irish Celebration." We were happy to see him make himself at home: He's always welcome here at KEXP.