"I used to sit with my dad in the garage
That sawdust that pine sol and the moss
Around every spring when the winter thawed
We’d huddle around the radio twist the broken knob
710 AM no KJR Dave Niehaus' voice would echo throughout the yard
couldn’t have been older than 10
but to me and my friends
the voice on the other end might as well have been God’s"
These are the opening lines of a song that so perfectly captures the feeling of the hundreds of thousands of Mariners fans around the world. Dave Niehaus was the Seattle Mariners play-by-play announcer from their inagural season up until his death in 2010.
As a tribute to Niehaus, local rapper Macklemore recorded a track shortly after his death called "My Oh My" that describes, in detail, Dave Niehaus' influence on both him, personally, and the entire city of Seattle. He reminisces about his days watching games in the King Dome and watching his favorite player, Ken Griffey Jr., play "right under those lights"
The passion and emotion that Macklemore puts into every rap he records is the main reason he is so popular in the Pacific Northwest. The words he speaks in each and every song ring true to every one of his listeners. His lyrics are both motivational and inspirational. His beats are often slow and instrumental, but it makes for a perfect backdrop to his incredibly moving lyrics.
Instead of rapping about drugs, guns, and money, like we hear every day on the radio, Macklemore raps about his life and the challenges it holds. His song "Otherside" talks about his past struggles with substance abuse and how it almost cost him his life. He encourages his listeners not to make the same mistakes he did, but he does it without using that annoying, cliche "Dont Do Drugs!" attitude.
Another song, "Inhale Deep," talks about how he gave up drugs and alcohol to become an MC and "set [him]self free." "The Town" is one of his most popular tracks among his fans because it is about Seattle and what it was like to grow up there. His songs tell stories and contain words meant to inspire his listeners. They aren't just a bunch of random compilations of words put next to each other just because they rhyme.
Unfortuntley, the latter of the two methods is what were becoming accustomed to in mainstream rap today. The word "RAP" originally stood for "rhythm and poetry", and that's exactly what it was when real rappers like Tupac and Biggie were still alive, and back before Eminem became mainstream.
Nowadays, rap is being confused with hip-hop and artists like Drake and Lil' Wayne have taken over and given rap music a bad reputation. Real rappers like Macklemore are hard to find nowadays, but they give us hope that real rap music isn't dead and that one day, it could return to its roots and once again be "Rhythm and Poetry".
Macklemore performed "My Oh My", at the Mariners 2011 Opening Day and is growing rapidly in popularity in Seattle and surrounding areas. While he is famous in the Pacific Northwest, he is still relatively unknown in other parts on the United States. Everybody I've ever met that has heard Macklemore's music has loved it and become immediately inspired and moved.
I am an A's fan and despise the Mariners, but "My Oh My" is one of my favorite songs. Not because I liked Dave Niehaus or Ken Griffey, but because I can feel the emotion in his words and can relate to the feeling of growing up watching a team that I care for so passionately. If you listen to Macklemore and you don't like him, you either 1) have no brain and are too stupid to understand what he is saying, or 2) have no heart and can, therefore, feel no emotion.