Artist – Macklemore
Years Active – 2000-Present
Notable Album – The Heist
“One man’s trash, that’s another man’s come up
Thank your granddad for donating that plaid button-up
shirt, cause right now I’m up in here stunting
I’m at the Goodwill, you can find me in the bins”
As we approach the end of the this list, it feels about the right time to address a prevalent theme: a lot of these rappers are white guys. That is far from intentional, but it is a reflection of the changing-but-still-majority status of white people in the United States.
Currently, as Eminem’s star begins to fade, Macklemore is perhaps the most well known white rapper in the country.
The Seattle native came onto the scene as an uneasy mixture of Social Conscious Rapper and Joke Rapper. Such a pairing is basically cat nip for your average white person, and consequently when Macklemore finally found traction in the early ’10s his career skyrocketed.
His YouTube hits are tremendous — nearly a billion alone for the above video for “Thrift Shop” — and he swept the Best Rap Album, Best New Artist, Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song Grammy Awards in the same year that Kendrick Lamar released his masterpiece, Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City. That latter fact might be the saddest on this list.
Next: West Virginia