7 Shots At Grammy For Seattle Duo Macklemore And Ryan Lewis

Jan 24, 2014

Seattle’s Macklemore and Ryan Lewis have seven shots at a Grammy Award on Sunday. The hip-hop duo is nominated for Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Best New Artist, Best Rap Performance, Best Rap Song, Best Rap Album and Best Music Video.

Local pop music critic and writer Gene Stout says that’s an impressive list of nominations.

“A lot of people think of Macklemore and Lewis as an overnight success, but they’re not,” Stout said. “Macklemore’s been at it for 10 years. Certainly what they’ve done with two chart hits is extraordinary. And for a duo, it hasn’t really happened since the ‘90s.”

The pair has a lot of appeal outside the usual audience for their genre, too. Their song “Same Love” talks about same-sex marriage, and gained popularity as their home state of Washington prepared to vote on the issue. Stout says the connections to local events and places have helped Macklemore and Lewis maintain popularity in Seattle.

“People like [Macklemore] because he’s succeeding locally,” he said. “After performing at the Seahawks game, he got on local TV and talked about how much he loved the Seahawks. That’s very unusual for a pop act to do that.”

Stout says Macklemore and Lewis could do well at the awards in Los Angeles on Sunday, and a Grammy, or seven, could boost their career —well, everything except the “Best New Artist” award, that is.

“It’s sort of a kiss of death,” Stout said. “You’re sort of the person of the moment, and it doesn’t necessarily guarantee success.”

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Gene Stout is a freelance pop music critic in Seattle, and a former staffer of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. He contributes to the Seattle Times and runs a blog on music.