Backstage With Bella

HIP HOP HERO

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The teenagers of Bråvalla are pouring into the pit in front of the festival’s main stage and once the area is proclaimed full, kids start jumping fences. Security guards are having a mare and Macklemore’s in town.

Starting the show posing with his back to the audience, the rapper also known as Ben Haggerty, gives us nothing but 100 minutes of pure show gold. With him are hip hop producer Ryan Lewis, golden voice Ray Dalton, a trumpet player and the old man in the blue shirt from the by now classic “Thrift Shop” video (who at one point saves his companion from the masses as he goes in for a crowd surf). Quite the team.

Playing the final slot of the night, including all his hits, Macklemore manages to not only borrow, wear and return an audience member’s glittery shirt but tell many an honest life story. He shares memories of drug fuelled days to how he became sober and turned his life around he and he provides a sombre contrast to previous headline act Rammstein – who he btw refers to as “ our German brothers who we never met Ramm-steen”.

To everyone’s amusement he also admits that he had his only one night stand in an old Volvo in Sweden five years ago (is Macklemore’s love child out there?) and with great humour and charm he captures our Swedish hearts. So much in fact that the girls in front are crying, screaming his name. Emotion runs especially high when “Same Love” is announced and the rapper takes a moment to tell us about what he refers to as the biggest civil rights movement of our time. The camera captures a lesbian couple holding hands on front row and I almost feel myself welling up.

Before finishing the blonde hunk dresses up in a glitter cape and wig to perform “And We Danced”. His unpretentious attitude and magic mix of rap, soul, rock and pop goes down a treat and Macklemore finishes by telling us to “you raise your hands to the people who aren’t with us, to the sky ‘cos you can’t take it with you”. What a beautiful human being.

As I later lay in my muddy tent I hear kids singing “Can’t Hold Us” long into the night. Here, he is hero.

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