Grantland logo

Macklemore Has a New Song That He Should Have Let Us Help Him Write

Seriously, he should have used our bars.

Three of the decade’s preeminent black music makers — Macklemore, Ryan Lewis, and Ed Sheeran — have come together for a song, “Growing Up (Sloane’s Song).” As tribute songs from parents to new children tend to go, the result is heartfelt. I would describe the song, but why not let British blog SugarScape do the work?

A super cute, actually-really-emotional tune about Macklemore’s daughter Sloane and we’re so emotionally unstable what with everything going on right now that we’re legit sobbing. Yup.

Yup, indeed.

[soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/217897247" params="visual=true&show_artwork=true&maxwidth=694&maxheight=1000" width="100%" height="400" iframe="true" /]

It is honest, vulnerable, and filled with emotions. Does that mean it’s good? Of course not. But let me tell you three things it is: honest, vulnerable, and filled with emotions.

The weird thing for me is that I sent Ben some prospective lyrics for the song, in case he wanted some help. Having a kid takes a lot of time, after all. After hearing the song, however, it’s clear he had his own lyrics in mind, and I respect that — songwriter to songwriter. But one thing is clear: He should have taken a page out of my one-page songwriting book — never rhyme and just say things.

It’s like what Jay Z said about his process: “You put the right artist on the right track in the studio, leave the door cracked, and let God in.” Yeah, that’s how I would describe the following lyrics. 

[Verse 1: For You, Macklemore, If You Want These Bars]
They say boys don’t like to cry
But your dad — yeah, he likes to cry
They say I shouldn’t cry and also should be strong
But child, I’m scared of the dark so sometimes I’m not strong
Sometimes I don’t know who I am
Or where I am
Or how I am
Or what I am
I just want to be a good dad
And raise you like your mom
And James Baldwin
Your mama and Ida B. Wells
The two toughest people I know
So you can learn to grow up on your own
I will be there for your first breath
But maybe not for your first steps
I might also miss your first soccer game
But definitely not high school graduation
I’ll give you your first cell phone
And you can stay on my family plan until you’re 32
It’s so hard juggling it all
Being a dad and being famous
Listen to George Benson and Chamillionaire
Read Toni Morrison and Tom Wolfe
Not all Tom Wolfe, though
But please read Bonfire of the Vanities.
Take it to college with you
I want to teach you how to rip The Power Broker in half
Because it’s a really big book.
And there’s no need to lug it around
Could be bad for your back
Always say you have ADHD
So you can get extra time on tests
You won’t feel good about this
But you’ll do better in school
Familiarize yourself with Frasier and Mad About You
I want you to be the kid that knows Frasier front to back
Fun fact: Frasier and Niles’s dad didn’t really have a limp in real life
Go figure
What a hero
I don’t care who you are
Where you’re from
What you did
As long as you love me
Your dad
Mackle

[Hook: Ed Sheeran]
I’ll be patient, one more month
You’ll wrap your fingers ’round my thumb
Times are changing, I know, but who am I if
I’m the person you become
If I’m still growing up, up, up, up
If I’m still growing up, up, up, up
I’m still growing up

[Verse 2: For You, Macklemore, If You Want These Bars]
There’s this trick on old calculators
Where if you type in “58008”
And turn it upside down
It spells “Boobs”
I want you to know that
Listen to traffic cops if there is bad traffic
If you run a red light
Blow a kiss up to the sky
When planes land, don’t clap
People will think you’re poor
When you get Gmail
Make sure to set up two-step verification
Only cheat on math tests
Never papers
Because teachers have the technology now to see
If you plagiarized
And it’s hard to bounce back from plagiarism
When you go to the prom
Make sure the dinner is at Benihana
Don’t eat hot mayo, study Coral and Mike
Stephen, Lauren, Kristen, Lo, Trey
Tell your mom you love her
Immediately after you tell her you hate her
Only apply to colleges that accept the common app
When you fall behind on your taxes
Don’t ignore the calls
Pick up the phone — I know they’re scary
But they really want to help you
Never pay your student loans
When you go to Chipotle
Always ask for a water, because it’s free
But then when you go to the fountain
Get a lemonade — it’ll save you a lot of money
Should Chipotle become your thing
When you find yourself in the bed of someone famous
Make them get you an Uber home
Seriously — they’re rich
Skateboarding is cool, so is drumming
Never forget that lakes are better than oceans
Race is a social construct
Adrenaline is the devil’s way of convincing you skydiving is cool
Daddy loves you. And he will always buy you Spotify Premium
Never grow up, and never use an exclamation point

[Hook: Ed Sheeran]
I’ll be patient, one more month
You’ll wrap your fingers round my thumb
Times are changing, I know, but who am I if
I’m the person you become
If I’m still growing up, up, up, up
If I’m still growing up, up, up, up
I’m still growing up