Light Tunnels

Album: This Unruly Mess I've Made (2016)

Songfacts®:

  • Macklemore and Lewis won four Grammy Awards at the 2014 ceremony for Best New Artist, Best Rap Album (The Heist), Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance ("Thrift Shop"). This song finds Macklemore taking the listener on a journey through that both that evening and other similar ceremonies as he shines a light on the true atmosphere of an awards show and explores the contrast between enjoying success and feeling hypocritical for selling out.
  • Macklemore explained the song's meaning to Jam! Music: "You know, a lot of people are interpreting that song as being just about the Grammys," he said. "And there's definitely moments in there from the Grammys, but it's just looking at award shows in general - it's bits and pieces from a bunch of different award-show experiences. It's more about looking at music as a commodity and as an art form that is awarded with shiny trophies, and what those trophies represent and why that structure is in place. And observing our place within that weird hierarchy of labeling music and awarding it."
  • The hook is crooned by Mike Slap, a singer and songwriter from North Providence, Rhode Island. While performing his way up the West Coast of the US as Symmetry, Mike Slap met Ryan Lewis. They became friends and ended up collaborating together on a full-length album, Symmetry & Ryan Lewis, which was released in 2008.

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