SXSW 2013: Macklemore Finally Tells Us About The Origins Of “Grandpa Style”

by (@unclegrambo)

We’re barely two and a half months into 2013, but the music success story of the year has already been written. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis have been working together for the better part of five years now, but the combination of blaring horns, poppin’ tags and “This is f***in’ awesome” chorus have made their single “Thrift Shop” this year’s most unexpected hit record. We sat down with Macklemore —who, we should note, very politely introduced himself to us by his real name, which is Ben— at SXSW last week to talk about grandpa style.


We saw some amazing moments during our time in Austin, but none were able to match the way that the crowd at Perez Hilton & VH1 Save The Music‘s One Night In Austin event reacted when Macklemore & Ryan Lewis performed “Thrift Shop,” the #1 song in the country. Seriously, the crowd went bananasdiculous when the song came on, particularly when Macklemore tells (threatens?) the subject of the song that “I’m gonna take you Grandpa Style,” a phrase that has also become a popular hashtag (#GRANDPASTYLE). So, we asked the pair what “Grandpa Style” meant to them, and how it differed from, say, “Father Style” or “Uncle Style.”

“Uncle Style just sounds creepy,” Macklemore professed. “No one wants their uncle’s style. That’s just weird.”

“To me,” he continued, “Grandpa style is plaid, it’s a lot of golf outfits. It’s the weird hats…”

“Nardwuar hats,” Ryan Lewis chipped in.

“Yeah, Nardwuar hats. You know, Grandpa Style has a lot of Lacoste…”

This, we should add, is where things got weird for yours truly.

“You have one on!”

Yes, dear friends, it is true. I was wearing a black, Lacoste t-shirt to the interview that day, one with a little alligator on it, unbeknownst to me that it was considered “Grandpa Style.”

macklemore-ryan-lewis-make-fun-of-unclegrambo

“That’s Grandpa Style, right there!” Macklemore taunted me, as Ryan Lewis laughed. “That’s like a new Grandpa Style.”

“You’re a modern Grandpa Style,” Ryan attested, perhaps sensing that my ego might have just taken a Pacquiao style beatdown. He was right, of course — who wants to have their outfit described as “Grandpa Style”? Certainly not yours truly. Oh well, I guess it could’ve been worse. I could, after all, have had no style at all!

Anyhoo, we took the criticism in stride, we swear! And we’ll have more with our interview from Macklemore & Ryan Lewis for you tomorrow; we promise that, in the next one, we don’t get made fun of at all.

RELATED: SXSW 2013: Jim James On His “Beautiful Open Relationship” With My Morning Jacket

Be sure to tune-in to VH1′s Top 20 Video Countdown this weekend to watch Jim Shearer experience SXSW as only he can. His interviews with the likes of Snoop Lion, Paramore, Youngblood Hawke, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and more from down in Austin are guaranteed to make you giggle.

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