LATEST ALBUM ‘BEN’
Today, multi-diamond certified, GRAMMY® award winning artist Macklemore has released his latest studio album BEN.
BEN is Mackemore’s highly anticipated third studio album. “I’ve always wanted to make an album called Ben,” he shares. “There’s something about a self-titled record. It has an air of voyeurism. I’m letting people in, but in a way that I hadn’t felt 100% comfortable about allowing before. I am now though.” Throughout 2020, he found himself with a rare pocket of time for introspection during the Global Pandemic—something not typically afforded to a father of three and touring musician…
“I did experience a level of reflection I don’t think I’ve been able to truly tap into in the past,” he affirms. “This mandatory pause and the time created a level of intimacy that might not have been there if the world had continued to operate how it was.”
Joined by a tightknit group of collaborators such as Budo, Tyler Dox, and Experience, he ventured to the island multiple times for focused five-day trips. “I’ve recorded in nature before, but I never had the opportunity to do so with no ending in sight,” he reveals. “We were removed from all external distractions. It just flowed. The idea was, ‘Let’s just make art, because we get to—not because we have to. Let’s capture that magic’.” Harnessing this magic, Macklemore heralded the album throughout 2022 and 2023 with fan favorites; “HEROES” featuring the legendary DJ Premier, ‘CHANT’ ft Tones and I, “FAITHFUL” Ft. NLE Choppa and “Maniac” Ft Windser.
On “HEROES” [feat. DJ Premier], a head-nodding beat laced with horn samples, a thick bass line, police sirens, and scratching sets the pace, Macklemore tells his story in dynamic, yet nostalgic bars, “Wanted a perm like DJ Quik, my mama said, ‘Ben, are you aware your hair is way too thin?’ But in my mind I was junior high Iceberg Slim.” “I was raised by nineties boom-bap hip-hop,” he goes on. “It inspired me more than any other era. It was pivotal for me coming of age as a 15-year-old and figuring out who I was. ‘Heroes’ is the story of growing up in the late nineties, where hip-hop was at, where skateboarding was at, and where graffiti culture was at. It had a massive impact on where I ended up in my life. Premier is one of my favorite producers of all-time too. He had a massive influence on me as an artist and as a person. You know it’s him right away.”
Then, there’s the single “NO BAD DAYS” [feat. Collett]. Upbeat guitar ushers Collett’s hook along at full speed as Macklemore counters in a catchy call-and-response. He assures, “Don’t gotta say goodbye, if you never wake up.” “It’s just a vibe,” he observes. “It’s one of those songs you put on in the car, and you’re immediately in a better mood. I love making a record that I can’t wait to bump in the whip when it hits 70 degrees.”
Elsewhere, “DAY YOU DIE” [feat. Sarah Barthel of Phantogram] hinges on a steady beat punctuated by palm-muted guitar. Macklemore and Sarah ponder mortality with unabashed honesty, repeating “We all gone die.” Vocal phenom LIVINGSTON lends his powerhouse pipes to “SORRY”, while the closer “Tail Lights” blinks through the haze with a sign of life encoded in the lyrics. “In recovery, there’s this idea where you’re essentially following your sponsor’s tail lights,” he reveals. “When I get someone to sponsor, they’ll follow my tail lights. Whose tail lights are we really following through life? It’s definitely the more introspective side of the album. What did I learn in the last four years of making this? What matters still?”
Once you hear BEN, you’ll never look at Macklemore the same way. “Songwriting is the glue for my entire career,” he leaves off. “If you’re not writing words that resonate, the music isn’t going to have depth, weight, or longevity. I’m not trying to follow. On this album, I’m being authentic to who I am. I’m reflecting on where I am in life. Turns out, I’ve learned a lot.”
BEN – TRACK LIST
CHANT ft. Tones And I
NO BAD DAYS ft. Collett
MANIAC ft. Windser
DAY YOU DIE ft. Sarah Barthel (from Phantogram)
HEROES ft. DJ Premier
LOST / SUN COMES UP ft. Jackson Lee Morgan
FAITHFUL ft. NLE Choppa
SORRY ft. Livingston
GOD’S WILL ft. Vic Daggs II
I KNOW ft. charlieonnafriday
TAIL LIGHTS ft. Morray
Multi-platinum and GRAMMY® award winning artist Macklemore has made history with a combination of commercial success, critical acclaim and international appeal, with a total of 13.2 BILLION combined streams to date, Macklemore is one of the most successful independent artists of the 21st century. GEMINI, Macklemore’s first solo effort in 12 years, was released in 2017 and debuted at #2 on the Billboard Top 200 chart and #3 on the ARIA album chart, featuring Platinum-certified singles, “Glorious” (featuring Skylar Grey) and “Good Old Days” (featuring Kesha). GEMINI followed two releases with producer Ryan Lewis: the multiple-GRAMMY award winning and multi-platinum album, The Heist(which spawned three #1 singles in Australia, the 13 x ARIA platinum certified “Thrift Shop”, 11 x ARIA platinum “Can’t Hold Us” & 6 x ARIA platinum “Same Love”) and 2016 release This Unruly Mess I’ve Made, which featured the 7 x ARIA platinum single “Downtown”. Collectively Macklemore’s music videos have been viewed over 5 billion times and he is one of only two rappers to have an RIAA Diamond-certified single (“Thrift Shop”).
A lifelong Seattle resident, Macklemore has always believed in using his platform, resources and creative pursuits to have an impact on racial and social justice issues. Macklemore is a co-founder of The Residency, a hip hop and youth development program that has become one of the preeminent opportunities for young aspiring artists in the region. Drawing on his personal battles with drugs and alcohol, Macklemore has consistently used his art and platform to raise awareness around issues of addiction and recovery. In 2016 he was featured in an MTV special with President Obama about the opioid epidemic in America and was the first non-administration official ever to participate in the Presidential Weekly Address. In 2021, Macklemore launched Bogey Boys, a golf and lifestyle clothing brand that has gained quick momentum and made waves in the golf and fashion worlds. In September 2021, Macklemore launched the Bogey Boys Flagship along with Goose Magees Vintage Mall on Capitol Hill in Seattle. He is a co-owner of the Seattle Sounders, of Major League Soccer and Seattle Kraken, of National Hockey League. He currently serves on the board of directors for MusiCares, The Residency and The Underground Museum in LA.
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