Russell Simmons said he understands why Macklemore did well at the Grammys Sunday (January 26), including winning Best Rap Album for The Heist, the Seattle rapper’s album with Ryan Lewis. But the Def Jam Recordings co-founder said that he thinks Kendrick Lamar is a better artist.
“Kendrick is absolutely a better rapper, and Macklemore had one of the most inspiring, socially conscious songs of the year and that is what did well for him,” Simmons said during an AMA yesterday (January 27), likely referring to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Same Love,” which was nominated for Song of the Year at the Grammys. “He’s a great rapper, but there is no evidence anywhere that he’s a better artist than Lamar.”
Nonetheless, Simmons says that he wished he could have been a part of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Same Love” single and that Macklemore has what he’s looking for in Hip Hop right now.
“Lyrics & social consciousness,” Simmons said. “Someone with lyrics & flow like Kendrick, with the social message of Macklemore. Poets should touch peoples’ hearts, and possessing that ability is what’s most important.”
Macklemore says that his four Grammy wins Sunday have both positive and negative aspects, including winning Best Rap Album over Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d city.
“It’s the blessing and the curse, a little bit more the curse,” the Seattle rapper said during an interview with New York radio station Hot 97 that was published yesterday (January 27). “First and foremost, Kendrick [Lamar] is a friend of mine. He’s somebody that I love his music and, in my opinion, had the best Rap album of the year. And knowing how the Grammys usually go, I knew that there would be a great chance that we’d win that award and, in essence, rob Kendrick. That’s what happened tonight. It kind of sucks. I think we made a great album. I think that Kendrick made a better Rap album.”