Macklemore was well aware that hip-hop fans would be upset if he took home the trophy for Best Rap Album at Sunday night’s
Weeks before the awards show aired, Macklemore predicted that “hip-hop is going to be heated” if The Heist edged out good kid, m.A.A.d city, so when it happened last night, he was prepared for what would come next. Post-show, he shared the apologetic text message that he sent to Kendrick, and on Monday he phoned into Hot 97’s morning show to elaborate even further.
“Try being the guy that won that award. It’s the blessing and the curse, but a little more of the curse,” Macklemore said, explaining that he was concerned when the nominations were originally announced.
“Kendrick is a friend of mine, I love his music and in my opinion he had the best rap album of the year. And knowing how the Grammys usually go, I knew that there would be a great chance that we’d win that award and in essence rob Kendrick. So that’s what happened. It kinda sucks. I think we made a great album, but I think that Kendrick made a better rap album. And that’s what it is.”
It was certainly a bittersweet night for Macklemore, who took home four Grammy awards along with producer Ryan Lewis, but still felt the need to apologize. The Seattle rapper explained that the Grammys’ voting system simply wasn’t fair to artists like Kendrick.
“What makes it awkward for me is the fact that you never want to be the person that’s robbing somebody else. And I think what people don’t understand, is what the Grammys are. It’s a bunch of people on the Grammy committee, in the industry, that get a ballot.”
“I got a ballot this year. Now, as I’m filling out the ballot I’m realizing I don’t know much outside of the genre of hip-hop. So people are filing out bubbles of genres that they don’t know about, and that’s the process of it.”
He went on to explain that this naturally gave them an advantage, since Macklemore & Ryan Lewis was a more popular name than Kendrick Lamar outside of rap circles, in the past year.
“Our name was big this year,” he said. “In terms of the people that are voting on those ballots, we have an unfair advantage due to race, due to the fact that we had huge radio success, due to the fact that our name was circulating more in the pocket [those] of people filling out of their ballot. This is not a RapRadar poll, this is not a 2DopeBoyz poll, this is not a Hot 97 poll, this is the Grammys.”
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis only hit the stage last night to accept the award for Best New Artist (and to perform), since none of the rap categories were televised. This didn’t sit well with him either, and he still regrets not speaking up in Kendrick’s defense, when he did have a brief moment on stage.
“I feel like K.Dot got robbed, and out of anything out of the night, I wanted to say that on the Grammys [stage], but they queued the music and I got pulled off quicker than I wanted to. At the end of the day, it’s the Grammys. It’s one awards show.”