After earning a Song of the Year Grammy nomination for his gay rights advocacy anthem, “Same Love,” Macklemore seemed poised to continue whipping up odes to weighty issues. Perhaps the transgender rights movement would be next, or a tribute to Black Lives Matter. Instead, the Seattle scion has taken a left turn nobody could have possibly predicted, releasing a song and video entirely about… mopeds. (You can watch him make several actual left turns in the video–on a moped, obviously.)
“Downtown” is a throwback jam that appropriately features the stylings of an 80s all-star rap squad consisting of Melle Mel, Kool Moe Dee, Grandmaster Caz (and also Eric Nally from Foxy Shazam.) Directed by Macklemore’s creative partner Ryan Lewis, with some help from Mack himself and Jason Koenig, the video is a return to the goofy town of breakout hit “Thrift Shop.” Aside from some surprisingly elaborate choreography, much of the video is almost completely indistinguishable from an SNL digital short.
Speaking of throwbacks and goofiness, hi there, Ken Griffey Jr recreating his rookie card for some reason!
“There’s layers to this shit, player: tiramisu,” Macklemore says at one point, immediately before riding a moped again. It’s as though he understands the frustration of everybody upset that he got Best Rap Album of the year over Kendrick Lamar, but refuses to change his style because of it. You’ve got to respect that. Or maybe “respect” is not the optimal word for a man who rides around on a moped topped with deer antlers. Let’s say “appreciate.”
Watch the whole video below.