Macklemore does more in five minutes than most performers do in a whole concert!
Regardless of whether or not you’re a fan, you have to respect what he did in this live performance of “Downtown” on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

  1. He starts the song off with Beatboxing from Rhazelle – Hip Hop’s preeminent Beat Boxer
  2. Then Macklemore goes into his first verse (about…riding a moped) while Ryan Lewis does…whatever it is that he does.
  3. Then he brings out Grandmaster Caz, Kool Moe Dee, and Melle Mel. All of them appear on the track, but having them share the stage live, is kind of a Hip Hop Moment. These guys are Hip Hop Pioneers. Legends. Who’s careers were just winding down the year that Macklemore was BORN!
  4. Then comes Eric Nally for that unforgettable chorus. Most folks (other than Uber-Hipsters) didn’t even knew who he was before “Downtown”. Formerly of Foxy Shabaz, Eric Nally is one of the freshest and weirdest and most obscure things in music right now. A cross between Freddy Mercury, Michael Jackson, and Napoleon Dynamite. Macklemore not only put him on one of his biggest selling records, but steps back and lets him shine…and gives him the attention that he rightfully deserves.
  5. Then there’s the breakdown when Kool Moe Dee, Grandmaster Caz (who rarely raps!), and Melle Mel do verses from some of their hits going back to 1983! All of it fitting perfectly into this song.
  6. Then the song crescendos (as his Rap Anthems are prone to do) and the whole place is up on it’s feet dancing and singing and leaving Justin Timberlake rethinking whatever it was that he was planning on doing next in his career.

Again, you don’t have to love Macklemore’s music…I honestly don’t all that much…but I respect what he does.
I respect the performer that he is, stepping back on his track and letting folks like Caz, Mel, Dee, and Nally shine.
I respect his respect for Hip Hop and giving some Rap Dinosaurs a second life 25 years after their extinction.
I respect Ryan Lewis’s ability to know his role as the Mastermind and to sit comfortably in the chair marked “The Other Guy”.
And I respect that 5 years ago…none of us even knew who Macklemore was!

God bless the artists!

(note: while this is a TV performance and is relatively clean, especially for Macklemore, there are a couple of “swears” and references that deserve you watching this with headphones on…or after the kids go to bed.)