A Seattle native who grew up in the suburbs, Macklemore’s success has raised more than a few eyebrows. The rapper has won four Grammys, including one for 2014’s best rap album, in which he beat out heavy-hitter Kendrick Lamar. The backlash Macklemore received for winning over Lamar’s “Good Kid, M.A.A.D City” was almost immediate.
“It’s typical,” rapper and actor Ice Cube said in an interview with The Associated Press. “It’s the Grammys. What do you expect? But for them to pass up true skills for what could be fly-by-night success … I don’t want to diss anybody, but seriously?”
The Miami rapper caused many fans to doubt his street credibility when he admitted in 2008 that he had worked as a correctional officer.
In his song “Rich Gangsta,” he says, “Feds tore apart the squad ni**a, that’s why I had to play the part ni**a/That wasn’t me, it was a job ni**a,” he spits, clearly referencing the scandal. “It gets deeper, that was just a start, ni**a.”
“That particular line most definitely referred to me being a C.O.,” Ross told MTV’s Sway Calloway. “And that being a job and just understanding the grind and the hustle and anything else I may have done. It’s just a job; it’s a hustle.”