“Over the past couple days, I’ve read numerous tweets and a couple articles about the use of our song ‘Wings’ as the intro for the 2013 NBA All Star Game,” wrote Macklemore in his blog. “It seemed like there were a fair amount of people that were quick to throw out the good, old-fashioned ‘sellout’ statement.”
The rapper was quick to explain his point of view to the haters. “The song ‘Wings’ is about the pursuit of identity through the means of consumerism. The attempt is to dissect our infatuation and attachment to logos, labels, brands and the fleeting happiness that is intrinsically linked to the almighty power of the purchase.” But having loved the NBA since childhood, accepting the offer to represent the organization was a “no brainer.”
Macklemore explained that he didn’t know that his lyrics were going to be edited, although after learning how they were altered, didn’t really care. It wouldn’t have made sense to use portions of the song talking about blatant consumerism. Keeping just the parts about loving basketball was hard to argue with.
“The only thing that I was a little ‘ehhhh’ about was the last bar,” he continued. “I put it on the ethics scale, and the last bar alteration wasn’t outweighing the potential reach that I saw in doing the video.”
But at the heart of Macklemore’s letter to fans was his explanation that the NBA’s use of the tune was a win for all. Sharing the same sentiment as dozens of other artists that license their music to businesses, Macklemore concluded, “We converted strangers that didn’t know who we were into fans. If that’s selling out to you, word.”
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