Macklemore is back, back again. Three months after delivering “Faithful” with NLE Choppa, the rapper born Ben Haggarty has returned with “Heroes” featuring DJ Premier. The song arrived on Friday (January 20) alongside a black-and-white visual starring the Gang Starr legend. Throughout the three-minute track, Macklemore reflects on his origin story and talks about the influence people like DJ Quik, N.W.A and Iceberg Slim had on him as a kid.
“When I grew up, criminal are my heroes,” he raps. “The beanie from New Jersey drive over my earlobes/From jump it was always f### cops and the bureau/Mixing Casper, Herald Hunton and De Niro/Now with my kids and we watchin’ Olaf/And I’m like, ‘Damn, I used to wanna be like old dawg.’”
Macklemore talked about “Heroes” in an Instagram post he shared with his 4.6 million followers shortly after the song’s release.
“DJ Premier’s production defined my childhood,” he wrote in part. “He was the soundtrack to my adolescence. I used to STUDY his drums. The way he chopped samples. The way his scratches had a personality to them, a voice. By the time the first snare hits, you can usually tell it’s a Preemo beat. I can still remember freestyling to the Come Clean instrumental for hours.
“[…] I love this s###. I love this era. And I miss it. I make a lot of rap songs that will probably never see the light of day. The specific sound that I’ve been reminiscing on isn’t contemporary anymore. It isn’t trending on TikTok. And chances are this is the least streamed song on my album.”
“Heroes” serves as the fourth single from Macklemore’s forthcoming album, Ben. The project is expected to arrive on March 3.