Macklemore Moves Past Costume Controversy at First Show Since Uproar
Rapper Macklemore preached the virtues of tolerance and acceptance during a rowdy concert Wednesday night in New York City, where he decided not to dwell on the controversy surrounding his outfit choice during a performance in Seattle on Friday.
This week, headlines centered on uproar from people who thought Macklemore’s wig, fake beard and fake nose were culturally insensitive toward Jewish people. But on Wednesday, the 30-year-old rapper kept the focus on the music and the empowering messages behind each song.
“We believe in love and equality for all people in the world, so now put your hand up like this,” Macklemore screamed, forming a peace sign with two fingers during the same-sex anthem “Same Love” with Ryan Lewis.
Macklemore, born Ben Haggerty, publicly apologized online on Monday.
“I’ve always loved dressing up and have been doing so my entire career,” he wrote on his blog. “The character I dressed up as on Friday had no intended cultural identity or background. I wasn’t attempting to mimic any culture, nor resemble one. A ‘Jewish stereotype’ never crossed my mind.”
Macklemore reiterated his love of costumes at Wednesday’s show, telling fans a story about himself at 17, when he would buy “weird outfits” from thrift stores and walk the streets of New York City as “Professor Macklemore.” The anecdote fittingly introduced the duo’s smash hit “Thrift Shop.”
The show, which was the first for the American Express Membership Experiences Concert Series, wouldn’t be a Macklemore concert without a transformation into his British alter ego Raven Bowie for “And We Danced.” Raven Bowie debuted in 2011 in this sex-fueled video.
So at the end of the day, fans anticipating a Macklemore costume did indeed see one — just not the controversial one consuming the celebrity scandal mill.