Playlist: What Macklemore was listening to at 10, 15, 20, 25
Macklemore talks about the Seattle rap he was a fan of at 10, 15, 20 and 25 years old. Below, read why he picked these four albums and listen to a track from each.
Age 10: Digable Planets, "Reachin' (A New Refutation of Time and Space)"
"I was a huge Digable Planets fan," says Macklemore of the pioneering jazz-rap act. "[Seattle singer/rapper/producer] Lace Cadence and I even formed a Digable Planets group. We rehearsed at lunch. I was Ish." That's Ishmael Butler, former Garfield High School star point guard, Grammy winning rapper/producer with Digable Planets, and current Sub Pop Records artist with Shabazz Palaces. "At the time, I didn't know it was local."
"Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)," by Digable Planets
Age 15: Tribal Productions, "Do The Math"
"'Do The Math' came out in 8th grade," says Macklemore of the local rap compilation, "and I got it early because I knew Vitamin D's sister." Seattle man Vitamin D played a major role in the production of the album and rapped on it with his group Ghetto Children. "Just smooth, relatable, personal music. I remember Vitamin was in [national publication] XXL Magazine, which was huge."
"Who's Listening?" by Ghetto Children
Age 20: Khalil Crisis, "Mi Vida Negra"
"This was the final era of the rap poet in Seattle," says Macklemore. "There were no fans then. It was artists performing for each other. A lot of open mics and poetry sessions. I was listening to Gabriel Teodros, Vitamin D beat tapes -- I don't know how we got those -- Source of Labor and Khingz [formerly Khalil Crisis]."
"Terrorist Opera," by Khalil Crisis
Age 25: Blue Scholars, "Bayani"
"It was an off time for Seattle hip-hop, but 'Bayani' was out. That was when Geo and Sabzi got on some rock star status, sold out back-to-back nights at the Showbox, stepped out nationally, signed with Rawkus Records. It made a big impression. And our country was at war, and Geo was rapping about it."
"Bayani," by Blue Scholars