Macklemore’s new song “Growing Up” with Ed Sheeran is a masterclass in corniness.

Macklemore’s New Song Is a Masterclass in Corniness

Macklemore’s New Song Is a Masterclass in Corniness

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Slate's Culture Blog
Aug. 5 2015 2:54 PM

Macklemore’s New Song Is a Masterclass in Corniness

Among the questions the song raises is this: Does Macklemore think that Langston Hughes wrote A Raisin in the Sun?


Macklemore’s new song with Ed Sheeran, “Growing Up (Sloane’s Song),” is the rap game “Everybody’s Free (to Wear Sunscreen).” The first single released as part of his comeback with Ryan Lewis, after their million-selling, Grammy-stealing 2012 album The Heist, “Growing Up” is his song about fatherhood, dedicated to his two-month old daughter. And in the mode of that surprise 1997 hit, it consists of a litany of advice.

This may shock you, but some of Macklemore’s counsels for his baby (delivered over timid piano that seems calculated to evoke “Same Love”), are remarkably corny. He recommends reading The Alchemist, he suggests doing yoga, and he expresses his support for working mothers—before immediately explaining why he’s going on the road. (“I could promise you that I’ll try and work less,/ but the tour’s routed and I got this album.”) But for some, the most cringe-worthy line will be this one:

Read Langston Hughes, I suggest “A Raisin in the Sun”

Now, maybe Macklemore knows that A Raisin in the Sun was written by Lorraine Hansberry, who was inspired by Langston Hughes’ poem of a different title. But he could have at least Googled the poem (called “Harlem” or sometimes “A Dream Deferred”), before name-checking it on his comeback single. Maybe, instead of finding a better source on black culture, he just checked “the YouTube comments”?