Oh no, we’re not done here.
Not even close.
Mack just started beefin on the Oklahoma City Thunder (OKC) for using his song “Can’t Hold Us” to hype the crowd at their game.
So I’m gonna say it. He’s just mad because he’s not getting money.
My reasoning: if OKC had the rights to the song, he wouldn’t be making a big stink their using it because, well, he sold the rights to them.
End of story.
Fair enough, pretty much everyone hates when other people use their stuff without permission. But remember when we talked about that Wings commercial? The one where he defended himself on selling out, stating that it’s more important to create/reach new fans than make money?
The one where he argued vehemently that he wasn’t selling out. That one.
Real quick—Selling out = selling artistry/integrity for money.
The one where he argued vehemently that he wasn’t doing the commercial for money.
The one where, ultimately,
What does this mean? Why does this Mackle-outcry matter so much?
Because this points to a huge inconsistency in Macklemore’s motives.
Firstly, in his NBA All-Star defense, Macklemore points out that the value for his decisions is that, “More people download the song, got the truth (the actual/full song) and we converted strangers that didn’t know who we were into fans.” If this is the trump-card, end all be all reason for his decision—if its about new fans and stranger conversion and totally not about the money—then what’s the problem, Macklemore? OKC games are FUCKING PACKED. The fanbase for the team is huge. They have some of the best players in the league which just brings more attention to OKC, and by transitivity, brings more attention to you if they keep bumpin that bullshit. If anyone didn’t know about you before, they certainly have a higher chance now. Looks like you’re getting everything you need to be happy.
This totally, 100% reflects that it’s a combination of money and notoriety that he’s craving. Probably moreso money, and using notoriety as a cover so he doesn’t seem like a piece of shit to his fans.
Secondly, getting upset about this is getting upset about a brand. His chosen, publicized, reason for being upset is (or will be, I haven’t followed up) that the OKC Thunder was originally the Seattle Supersonics, a franchise that had been running since 1967 up until 2008. A kid with a lot of hometown pride, this is the front that Macklemore is going to put up for his frustration—“it’s not about the money, it’s that the team that stole my team from my city is using my song; I don’t like it.”
If you distribute your music to an entire industry, without discrimination toward particular teams, or brands, then I can get on board—it looks like you really don’t care about brand. I believe that you really just love basketball.
But the OKC Thunder isn’t the brand he likes. And if his album and artistic integrity are legit about denying consumer culture and the problems tied to it, then this really shouldn’t matter at all. Brand shouldn’t matter—basketball is basketball is basketball. When he did the All-Star commercial, he didn’t have a problem with the shot of Kevin Durant in his Thunder jersey being in the same ad.
FURTHERMORE it’s also not about the Thunder using the song in an inappropriate context and defeating the meaning of the song. “Can’t Hold Us” has absolutely nothing to do with anti-consumerism, and it’s his most commercialized song to date. It’s used in a Microsoft commercial and a Miller Lite commercial. The lack of a consumer culture message gives the song more applicability to other contexts. That said, the Thunder’s use of the song isn’t contradicting the message at all—but the fact that he’s upset about some brand using his stuff because he doesn’t like them does.
I could see a reasonable frustration if an Air Jordan commercial played “Wings”, or if Louis Vuitton’s website played “Thrift Shop” on its homepage—this would be a misuse of the song, and a contradiction of the artistic message. But this?
This is nothing more than brand loyalty.
Let me sum it up. If he’s upset about the money, he’s compromising his artistic integrity, just as he did before but lied about.
If he’s upset about the OKC Thunder’s use of the song because of Supersonic’s loyalty, he’s still compromising that artistic integrity because he’s getting caught up in the same consumerism he claims to reject.