Macklemore may get a lot of flak online for being too sincere or corny for his politically and socially conscious raps, but when he’s doing things like mentoring teens from lower-income families in Seattle and then letting them share his platform on high-profile late-night appearances, all the fault-finding becomes pretty moot.
Mack hit The Tonight Show to perform his Gemini single “Corner Store” last night, bringing legendary producer DJ Premier and fellow Washington rap star Dave B with him, along with a special guest. Travis Thompson (the kid in the yellow hoodie) is a recent graduate of Macklemore’s The Residency mentoring initiative, and his reward for completing the program turned out to be the opportunity to perform live for an audience of millions alongside the Seattle superstar.
The Residency was started by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis in Seattle in July 2015, with the aim of giving “young aspiring hip-hop artists in Seattle … a chance to pursue their passions in music,” according to Macklemore in a recent interview with Billboard. “Travis was a standout in the first year of the program, came back in a leadership role the next year, and it’s been incredible to watch him grow as an artist over the last three years.”
Now the kid gets to perform live on one of the biggest television platforms in America. Now, that’s a come-up.