This has been one of my favourite Macklemore tracks for so long, ever since I first found it on his ‘The VS EP’. The video I’ve actually posted is a live remix version of his original track, and I’ve posted it instead of the normal version for a reason.
The original is amazing. The beat contains the RHCP sample from their track ‘Otherside’. I showed this to my mate Brian who loves RHCP, and he wasn’t impressed by what they did, but I really like the beat. The feeling definitely matches the mood and themes in the song. I’ll try to explain how powerful this song is, but I think he explains what it’s all about best in this video here. It’s basically a song about drug addiction, in particular the drink known as ‘cough syrup’ (Oxycontin) which became popular in rap culture through Lil Wayne and a bunch of other rappers I’m not too keen on. What struck me so hard was that Macklemore himself became part of this, and experienced it all first hand, and puts his emotion into this.
So why did I choose this live remix over the original? Well the beat of the remix is so sombre it fits too, but that’s not the reason. In the original version, Macklemore says that he has ‘seen Oxycontin take 3 lives’ as the people around him were also addicted to drugs, which was one of his motivations for writing this. When I listened to the live version I’ve posted, He has changed the lyrics.
‘I’ve seen Oxycontin take 4 lives’. That hit me so hard because I’ve listened to this song so many times that it stuck out so much for me. You can see how much passion he puts into his delivery that this issue is so important to him. I really hope you enjoy this live version and also his original track.
Now he just wanted to act like them
He just wanted to rap like him
Us as rappers underestimate the power and the effects that we have on these kids