Macklemore & Ryan Lewis swept the Grammy Awards last night, taking home a total of four golden statues for Best New Artist, Best Song, Best Performance, and Best Rap Album — the latter of which caused the music duo to take home some serious heat, as well. As soon as Macklemore's album The Heist was announced as the winner for Best Rap Album of the Year, tweeters and bloggers could not type fast enough to express their outrage and confusion.
While some could not even understand how The Heist qualified as a rap album, others blamed white privilege for Macklemore's unstoppable and supposedly undeserved success, citing that his rap skills fall inferior to fellow rapper Kendrick Lamar's "universally acclaimed rap masterpiece," good kid, m.A.A.d. city. While Macklemore and Lewis won four of the seven categories they were nominated in, fellow nominee and fan favorite, Lamar, who was also nominated in seven categories, went home with absolutely nothing.
Macklemore knew the backlash that awaited them if they walked away with Best Rap Album and publicly endorsed Lamar's album to avoid the ridicule that would inevitably come his way.
"We’re up against Kendrick, who made a phenomenal album,” Macklemore told The Source Magazine. “If we win a Grammy for Best Rap Album, hip-hop is going to be heated. In terms of [that award], I think it should go to Kendrick. He’s family. TDE is family, and I understand why hip-hop would feel like Kendrick got robbed [if he didn’t win].”
To combat all of the major shade Macklemore and Lewis are currently feeling in the industry, Macklemore texted an apology to Lamar — and then posted the photo of the text on his Instagram account for the world to see.
The caption of the photo read:
"My text to Kendrick after the show. He deserved best rap album... I'm honored and completely blown away to win anything much less 4 Grammys. But in that category, he should have won IMO. And that's taking nothing away from The Heist. Just giving GKMC it's proper respect.. With that being said, thank you to the fans. You're the reason we were on that stage tonight. And to play Same Love on that platform was a career highlight. The greatest honor of all. That's what this is about. Progress and art. Thank you. #grammys"
While the gesture appears to be a genuine effort to relieve any tension between the two rappers, we can't shake the feeling that this was a publicity stunt for Macklemore and Lewis to get back in everyone's good graces. Macklemore appears to be a nice, decent guy, but we can't help but wonder: why did he have to post a photo of the text? He could have texted Lamar privately to relieve any strain and left it at that. Instead, he broadcasted it for everyone's eyes to see and then included another crafty photo caption that could have easily been drafted by a publicist.
It's honestly a really sticky situation. No artist wants to feel like they don't deserve an honor as big as a Grammy, especially after they've won it, and they especially shouldn't have to apologize for winning. With that being said, there's no real way to mitigate the situation and provide an apology that everyone will be satisfied with. That's the nature of the business though, you just have to have some tough skin.