StreeXB Global Talent SearchMacklemore is the next Vanilla Ice or the next Eminem but it appears as if he is nowhere to be found

Can this be because of excessive use of drugs and alcohol?

Is it the genre that he is a part of or a street cred issue?

I can’t get my head around how someone so popular can disappear.

Ben Haggerty, known by his stage name Macklemore, has independently released one mixtape, three EPs, and two albums. He has significantly collaborated with producer Ryan Lewis. I wouldn’t say he is average, his laid back flow is distinctive. The majority of mainstream hip-hop seems to stay mainly on the subject of money, drugs, and women. Hip-hop may have a deep and spiritual past, but it is poorly represented in the genre as it stands today. Macklemore was very popular with his singles from the last two years, but now he is silent. There are no new records, no new videos, and no new album. What gives?

Go through the article and uncover the mystery to Macklemore’s disappearance from the music scene.

For a brief moment in history he was the center of a storm raging through the mainstream. Grammys were stacked, Billboard records broken, radios flooded, thinkpieces written, his name was simultaneously the most exalted and damned in music. He came, saw and conquered so swiftly that it almost feels surreal what he accomplished in 2012 and 2013. Commercially, rappers have wet dreams about the kind of success he accomplished. “Thrift Shop” took his name into households around the world by being his first number one, “Can’t Hold Us” his second number one and the most streamed song on Spotify in 2013, “Same Love” was embraced so strongly by the same-sex community he would be honored by ACLU, even “Wing$,” a song showing the darker side to sneaker culture was used during the NBA All-Star game in 2013. What didn’t this album achieve? What accolades weren’t received?

It felt like the birth of a new superstar, until it slowly but surely didn’t. After The Heist‘s run he’s been staggeringly silent. There have been no new singles, no new videos, no remixes, the last two years have produced exactly one guest verse, for 2014’s “Fences.” He has joined an elite class of the famous but secretive, but even for that group, his inactivity has been baffling. Adele broke her silence to sing for James Bond, Frank Ocean sporadically delivered a teaser or two, Andre 3000 will pop up on guest verses, but Macklemore has stayed silent on record while touring like mad, neglecting the same industry he disrupted. Slowly, Macklemore faded from the glaring spotlight into the dimly-lit foreground.

The Heist‘s many accomplishments puts an immense amount of pressure on Macklemore to deliver a suitable sophomore. The moment he releases a single, it will be like dipping a bloody napkin into a sea of sharks. Especially with the cultural appropriation criticism still hovering over his head like a gray cloud that could downpour at any minute. How will hip-hop embrace his next release? I know the critics will have no mercy, the fans are expecting a grand return, and that pressure can drive a man to the edge. Not just the singles, his entire album will be dissected with the intensity of a middle school class obtaining their first lizard. That weight alone would make an escape completely understandable, leaving us all wondering, could he have done it again? We speculated until Nathan’s insane theory started to sound genius. That’s the thing about celebrities, we create the stories about their lives we like best and then expect them to live out those stories.

Macklemore smoking weed and popping sleeping pills isn’t the person he wants the world to see, but that’s who he is. I saw a lot of jokes online, how his problems are jokes compared to others, but he’s an addict. No matter what the substance, he will abuse it to the fullest. Addicts don’t understand moderation, they’re extremist so even recreational drugs won’t be taken lightly. Hence why in 2014 Macklemore was unproductive. He was popping pills, feeling guilty, unable to detach himself, too focused on hiding his addiction to get into the studio. It’s like being caught in a loop, one he couldn’t exit. The reason Macklemore relapsed was an attempting to escape. Yelawolf used the same word to describe his alcoholism during an interview on Highly Questionable.

Discovering that his fiancée was pregnant is what really changed Macklemore, the knowledge that he would become a father in his future placed a new burden on his back.  A burden bigger than the fame, the drugs, bigger than himself. That child is now his escape, the best kind. If he decided not to drop this album and focus on his family I would deem him a genius. He has happiness, a family, and his health, why not just be that happily ever after ending?

Macklemore is still a symbol, his fans haven’t forsaken him. His next project is rumored to be released during the final quarter of the year, but we all know how shaky release dates are, especially when the frontman’s fighting addiction. I’m expecting an album full of growth, something that shows what the last three years have been like, songs that capture his second trip to the dark side. The deception, the fear, the turmoil of falling apart when you’re expected to keep it together. In a way, that’s who he is. Take away the hits, the accolades, the money, he’s just a flawed man in a world that loves flogging the publicly flawed. I prefer the imperfection, the addict, the man that’s in a constant state of starting over. Reaching, falling, trying to keep it all together while pursuing the next plateau. Aren’t we all that man?

StreeXB would like to extend our gratitude to The DJBooth for this article. Click here to check out the whole scoop.

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