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The Meaning Behind The Song: Need to Know by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

The Meaning Behind The Song: Need to Know by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

As I sit here listening to “Need to Know” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, I can’t help but be captivated by the introspection and thought-provoking lyrics of the song. Released in 2016 as part of their album “This Unruly Mess I’ve Made,” the track dives deep into the issues of drug addiction, materialism, and the complexities of fame.

A Reflection of Drug Addiction and The Pursuit of Status

Macklemore starts the song by acknowledging his shortcomings and the half-truths he often tells. He mentions the brokenness within himself, praying for a way out of his despair. The lyrics allude to the prevalence of pill and substance abuse in his generation, highlighting the dangers and struggles that come with it. The constant pursuit of satisfaction through material possessions, symbolized by the mention of expensive items like Louis Vuitton bags and shoes, is also explored. Macklemore questions the emptiness of this lifestyle, acknowledging how it has become a form of self-worship and distancing himself from traditional religious practices.

Yearning for Authenticity and Self-Reflection

Chance the Rapper’s appearance in the second verse introduces another layer of introspection. He speaks of his fears as a father, particularly in a society that objectifies women. The line about his daughter’s eyes being closed when she smiles conveys the innocence he wants to protect. Chance also reflects on his own personal growth and maturity as he sees traits of his father manifesting within him. He expresses a desire to return to a time when the focus was solely on the music, lamenting the superficiality and scrutiny that fame has brought into his life.

The Significance of the Song’s Title: “Need to Know”

The song’s title, “Need to Know,” reflects the artists’ intention to share vital truths despite the potential discomfort it might cause. Macklemore and Chance the Rapper acknowledge that these truths may be difficult to hear, but they believe that they need to be shared, as the harsh realities of societal issues cannot be ignored. The truth is uncomfortable, but it is essential to face it to bring about change and growth.

This song serves as a poignant reminder of the challenges faced by society, particularly the pitfalls of substance abuse and the repercussions of pursuing materialistic ideologies. Macklemore and Chance the Rapper’s introspective lyrics offer a unique perspective on these issues, encouraging listeners to reflect on their own lives and the society they contribute to.


Featuring Chance the Rapper

Produced By Cardiak, Critacal & Ryan Lewis

Written By Critacal, Cardiak, Chance the Rapper, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Additional Producer Cardiak & Critacal

Engineer Stephen Hogan

Mastering Engineer Dale Becker & Mandy Adams

Mixing Engineer Jon Castelli & Ryan Nasci

Release Date February 26, 2016

Tags: Pop, Rap

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