Success is rarely simple, and Macklemore’s anti-consumerist fans may want to watch his three-minute promo for the NBA’s All-Star week, featuring “Wing$,” the second single from the rapper’s debut album, The Heist. In its original form, “Wing$” is a critique of Nike and the obsessive sneaker culture that triggered $200 shoe prices. “I look inside the mirror and think Phil Knight tricked us all,” Macklemore declares, “Will I stand for change or stay in my box?” In the song, Macklemore describes his realization that expensive footwear didn’t make him cooler, as he once thought as a kid.
Given those lyrics, you may be confused why the NBA, a key player in the rise of the big-time sneaker industry, would choose the song to hail its product. But that’s because it’s not the same song anymore: In the promo, Macklemore drops all the lyrics that criticize Nike and consumerism.
Macklemore must have seen this criticism coming, but he went right ahead and did it. Why? Maybe he feels he has reached a level of fame that cannot be shaken or disrupted by that kind of criticism.