Macklemore: I was just at an event that I was really excited for. I was going to a rap show that was really good. And I felt like I was like a different rapper, so I’m just going to write some stuff and go on tour. I didn’t know what to expect, but I was like, “Let me think about maybe this” and then in the meantime I realized, “I’m gonna write this.” I got my first song [about the Black Lives Matter movement] in 2010. [But] I didn’t know the term. I didn’t know how to use the word and I was like, “No. What did you just say?” It took me 10 years. Then finally last year, I think, I made the word hip-hop, and in the whole process of writing the title I was like, “Man, I don’t know what I’m doing here.” So I had three weeks to think about it and put it together. Like you said, I’ve been doing this for 20 years, and at one point I feel like I’m gonna go, “Wow, this whole thing, when I think about it, it sounds like that guy.” Like, “He made something like this? That’s amazing.” And I realized it. It was very important for me to feel like, “Oh, it was that guy.” It’s important, and it just took me 10 years to realize it, and it will take me a decade or two.
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What inspired you to write “Alright” so quickly?
That was one of the last tracks I wrote. Before I wrote “Hollaback Girl,” [that track] was a year ago, I’d made the album and then I’d decided to keep it. I had an album to do. That’s the one that came out this year. That first song, I would say I’ve got two, three, maybe four songs left. “Alright,” I came up with the first song when I was at the airport, like at the airport in Atlanta. It was just waiting for somebody to say, like, “Hey man, do you want to do something this weekend?” I was just looking for somebody to say, “I want to go to your gig.” “Come on, man, go to all these places! Go to all them cool spots.” That’s what it was. And then it was one of those times where I had to say