Macklemore: “The hip-hop scene in Seattle back then was way different. It was super small. Like a couple of hundred people small. There wasn’t any attention it. There was no radio. There weren’t any writers covering it. It was very different. In my group Elevated Elements, we all went to different high schools. So we each had our own demographic of fans from each school. We actually had a decent draw for this size of the scene back then. We could pull a couple hundred people on a Sunday.
“The older promoters realize that we had a fanbase and they could make money off of us. So we got opportunities through them because they were making money and they saw it as a lucrative opportunity. They were kind of passing the torch and we got on the stage and rapped? That was thing we could get back then. So I started really performing 16, 17, years old. We did shows primarily in Seattle but that [“Victory Lap” footage] is in Vancouver. We had some affiliated crew that we were really close with. We were primarily doing Northwest stuff.
“I think that I always took it seriously. I am just that type of person. If I am do something, I am going to try to do it at the best of my ability and as good as anybody else doing it. Even though I wasn’t even close back then. In my mind, that’s how I had to perceive myself in order to continue to do it and be encouraged by it.
“That was the other thing during this time when I was in high school, there wasn’t even MySpace. You couldn’t see how many plays you were getting on the player. There’s no Twitter. There’s no Facebook. There’s no way of really tracking how you are doing outside how many people are coming to your show, which is in your city. That’s not what legitimized it for me. I don’t know if this is jumping too far ahead, but the first time I was like, ‘Wow, this could actually be a career.’ This is something that I am attaining fans is probably 2004 with MySpace. But, when I was still that age as a teenager. I had no idea what my reach was.”