Macklemore and Ryan Lewis Release New Track, Video For “Downtown”
For Fans Of: Mac Miller, ScHoolBoy Q, Kid Cudi, Chiddy Bang, Outasight, Kendrick Lamar
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis pay homage to the great hip-hop pioneers before them in their new video “Downtown.” Kool Moe Dee, Grandmaster Caz, Eric Nally and Melle Mel join forces with the duo as they stroll and cruise through the streets of Spokane, Washington.
“Go big or go home” is certainly the premise of this video. Besides it being over five minutes long, the clip plays out with some serious storytelling and visuals to match. Macklemore raps about buying a moped over a funky old school beat — there’s lots of horns and cowbell here — while the hip-hop legends show up to contribute their signature vocals. Don’t turn your eyes away from your screen because you may miss a cameo from Seattle Mariners player Ken Griffey Jr.
“My seat is leather, alright I’m lyin’, it’s pleather / But girl we can still ride together / You don’t need a Uber, you don’t need a cab / F— a bus pass, you got a moped, man,” the Seattle native rhymes.
Birdman, Mariah Carey, Timbaland and Blackstreet even get name-dropped while rival crews meet up, slick choreography is on display and outrageous bikes get their shine on the road.
The Grammy Award-winning team will perform “Downtown” (a song that took over a year to make) at the MTV Video Music Awards Sunday (Aug. 30).
As promised earlier this year (see here), the pair will be releasing a new album this year. Another new track “Growing Up (Sloane’s Song)” feat. Ed Sheeran also surfaced online recently, take a listen below. About that track, the Seattle rapper said “I wish that I could say that I was in a “better place” when I found out the news. It would make for a far more polished and respectable story. But I think back to that night: praying on the floor at 2am as Tricia went to the bathroom to take the pregnancy test I’d just purchased from Walgreens. I was scared. Scared to start working on new music. Scared of trying again and failing. Scared of the process of staring at myself through a page and seeing someone that I wasn’t proud of. Someone that I didn’t like. Someone that wasn’t ready to be a dad.
I’ve always had some make-believe image in my head of who I would be as a father. I held on to clear expectations of where I wanted be in my career, my age, my level of self-care, and my maturity. I basically assumed that I’d have it all together. But in actuality the hypothetical “dad” version of me looked completely different than the man whose heart was beating out of his chest on the carpet, praying to a god or spirit I hadn’t talked to in months. When Tricia walked out of the bathroom, I knew. And I knew I had to change.
5 months later we were recording in a remote cabin away from the density that is Seattle. I was finally having fun in the studio for the first time in years. Songs were getting made, finally. I was going back to the city once a week to attend a birthing class with Tricia. When I got back to the cabin the next day, Ryan had made a new beat that would eventually become the song you’re listening to. Half of it is advice about growing up. The other half is trying to figure out how to grow up myself.
When you try to escape yourself, life has an interesting way of creating situations that force you to come back. To look at who you are. This is why “Growing up” felt like the right song to re-emerge with. It’s where I’ve been the last year, through all the ups and downs. We didn’t want to do a big campaign or anything over the top with this. We just wanted to put out good music, directly to the people that have been here since the beginning. Thank you for your patience. Hope you enjoy.
And if you’re wondering…
Our daughter, Sloane Ava Simone Haggerty was born 2 months ago on May 29th. There is nothing like the joy and happiness that comes from bringing a baby into this universe. She has filled my heart in ways that I never knew were possible. She is the love of my life. This song is for her.-Ben”
Macklemore says he and producer Ryan Lewis are about 75% done with a new album. But he admits there have been some personal struggle along the way.
Telling Complex in a recent interview that he “held it together for a while” before eventually ditching his regular 12-step meetings. “I was burnt out. I was super-stressed. We weren’t sleeping — doing a show every day, zigzagging all over the country … not being able to walk around, having no privacy, and from this TV appearance to this TV appearance, and the criticism, and the lack of connection, and the lack of meetings — all of that put into one pie was just … I just wanted to escape.”
He resorted to sleeping pills and marijuana, trying multiple times to quit. But when his fiancée Tricia Davis learned last September that she was pregnant, he realized he needed to “grow up,” prompting him to sober up.
Sobriety also impacted the music Macklemore and Lewis made together, including six more serious tracks they recorded in Idaho in addition to ones they had already worked on in Seattle.
Details about the album remain slim, but it is expected in the fourth quarter of the year.