Macklemore and Ryan Lewis swept the rap categories at Sunday night's Grammy Awards, picking up statues for Best Rap Song ("Thrift Shop"), Best Rap Performance ("Thrift Shop") and Best Rap Album ("The Heist").
A passionate debate about the Seattle rapper's likely win had been percolating on the internet for months. Many pointed to Kendrick Lamar's "Good Kid Maad City" as the LP that should have won Best Rap Album, and to Kanye West's "New Slaves" for Best Rap Song. Part of the controversy focuses on whether Macklemore is more a pop artist than a pure rapper, while others wonder if Macklemore, who is white, attracts the attention of Grammy voters who may not have otherwise paid attention to the category (Grammy voters don't cast ballots for every category -- they can vote for a maximum of nine categories and are supposed to focus on what they know).
The pair was also featured on the cover of this year's Grammy voters' guide.
Macklemore pre-empted part of the conversation by posting a screenshot of his text messages with Lamar. Macklemore and Lewis were set to be joined by Madonna for a performance of "Same Love" while 34 couples get married in the aisles of the Staples Center.
Here's how the internet reacted to their Grammy wins:
— ItsTheReal (@itsthereal) January 26, 2014
Macklemore is what everyone was scared eminem would be
— max read (@max_read) January 27, 2014
A closer look at the Grammy voters who gave best rap album to Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. pic.twitter.com/Oy0jtjGV53
— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) January 26, 2014
Macklemore performs "Dont Make Fun Of People Ordering Salad At McDonalds How Would U Feel If U Were A Salad" & begins healing process
— DVS (@DVSblast) January 27, 2014
Everyone called it and we're still shocked. Macklemore.
— Dynamics • £ (@theDYNAMICS) January 26, 2014
The good news the awards Macklemore has already won won't be televised. No sympathy speeches about the rainforest or the mexicans struggle
— SPEAK (@speakz) January 26, 2014
Macklemore ? Really? The statement is so blunt and disrespectful lol
— Black $$$ Shawty (@KlvnAmberLondon) January 26, 2014
If Jay Z illuminati then Macklemore is the Lebron of it stfu.
— Olu (@OluDoIt) January 26, 2014
Bubba Sparx is mad he picked the wrong decade to rap RT @HuffingtonPost: Best Rap Album goes to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis for “The Heist”
— NC-17 (@8plus9) January 26, 2014
"GO COMPLAIN ABOUT IT TO YOUR BLACK PRESIDENT." -Macklemore
— Myles Brown (@mdotbrown) January 26, 2014
i like macklemore but why tf is he winning everything in the rap category
— katie☺️ (@smalltownliam) January 26, 2014
Lol Macklemore won bc he's a "safe" rapper....
— rasta flower child (@joiela_vivre) January 26, 2014
So Macklemore and Ryan Lewis beat Kendrick Lamar at everything pic.twitter.com/lypxJHOu3X
— Corporal Copper Lynx (@hottubjhonny) January 26, 2014
Some people were quick to offer up some counterarguments, too:
for context though here are some of the reviews for The Heist before Macklemore was a famous rapper pic.twitter.com/9KWwA2XNBi
— Luke Winkie (@luke_winkie) January 26, 2014