Benjamin Haggerty: Music Video Analysis

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Benjamin Haggerty, or as many know him by “Macklemore”, is one rapper who uses his lyrics to inform and instruct his listeners to make positive decisions. Macklemore uses his music as an outlet of reflection especially regarding his past mistakes. One topic that many share a common understanding of is the dangers of drugs. Today, in especially rap music, drugs are glorified. Today, teens are constantly exposed to misleading images from the media and they truly do have a lasting impact on a young adult’s ideology. With every song, music video, or movie, a young teen is listening or watching something that persuades them to think a certain way. However, Macklemore instead advocates for his audience and urges his listeners to avoid his past mistakes.…show more content…
Within this music video, a negotiated position is taken by the audience. While some people can relate to the images shown in the video, not everyone identifies with or understands the dangers. Some may claim that this video is an inaccurate representation of drug users and its effects, whereas outsiders may completely accept the overall argument. Drug users should view this video with complete acceptance and agreement, but like Macklemore said in his lyrics, the majority of users do not believe they have a problem. This video however was intended to reveal that drugs are destructive and there is nothing beneficial about them. In reference to Marian Young’s Five Face of Oppression, drug use is many times the result of cultural imperialism. Young defines this as, “Cultural imperialism involves the universalization of a dominant groups experience and culture, and is establishment as the norm.” The dominant group in this case is rappers. On the outside, rappers are stigmatized for taking a lot of drugs, but in some cases, this is not always true. This was once true for Macklemore, but through his song “Otherside”, Macklemore challenges his listeners to not follow the “norm” of other rappers. Even though Lil Wayne uses drugs, this does not mean that everyone who likes his music has to do the same. Furthermore, Young states, “Those living under cultural…show more content…
Not only is he white, but his music is refuting the norm of rap music specifically regarding that drugs are a necessity to success. He has ultimately proved this fact with his great success in this business without the aid of drugs. Macklemore’s specific song “Otherside” however, was a reflection on his past mistakes and urges teens to not follow in these footsteps. There was no way to commend his past, and no one should glorify anybody’s drug use no matter who they are. Macklemore’s lyrics and music video are striking and influential. Substance abuse is a serious issue and from the help of those in the spotlight like Macklemore, drug use will become more stigmatized each and every

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