Hip-hop artist Macklemore to visit O.C. high school despite parents’ complaints

Macklemore visit

Macklemore performs during the MTV Video Music Awards at the Orpheum Theatre on Aug. 30.

(Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images for MTV)

More than 25 years ago, Will Smith rapped that “Parents Just Don’t Understand.”

That still rings true in 2015, especially for students at Aliso Niguel High School in Aliso Viejo. They were dealt a blow Monday when their principal advised them that a visit from hip-hop artist Macklemore was turned down after a group of parents complained, the Orange County Register reported.

Parents said Macklemore’s music supported drug use, alcohol and misogyny.

The idea of missing an opportunity to have a major hip-hop star visit their campus prompted thousands to sign a petition on, pleading with school officials to allow Macklemore to perform at the school. The movement spurred the hashtag #bringbackmack.


Then on Tuesday, school Principal Deni Christensen had a change of heart.

“After careful consideration of varying viewpoints on all sides of the issue surrounding a possible visit by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, it is my hope that we have developed a plan that will meet the needs of our diverse students,” Christensen announced.

The December visit would go on as planned but would be held after school.

Initial reports of the canceled visit hit Macklemore, who on Monday tweeted, “That’s disappointing.”


Students won a contest this month by the online tutoring site Chegg, which would give students access to the Grammy Award-winning rapper and musical partner Ryan Lewis during a classroom takeover event.

Seattle rapper Macklemore, whose real name is Ben Haggerty, and Lewis, who is a DJ, are expected to provide a “live crash-course” and Q&A session on their experiences in the music industry.

The special class session came with a cash prize of $10,000 that would be donated to the high school’s music program.

The musical duo are best known for their smash hit “Thrift Shop” and the marriage equality anthem “Same Love.”

Macklemore has battled drug use in the past, but he has said he is seeking recovery and has looked to music to help him.

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