A couple of hours after the Grammys on Sunday night, Macklemore sent a text to Kendrick Lamar, whom he had just beaten for best rap album.
"You got robbed," the text read. "I wanted you to win. You should have. It’s weird." He added, "I robbed you."
As a private act, this was a love letter, a way for an artist to honor a peer. As a public act - Macklemore posted an image of the text on his Instagram account, although it’s unclear whether it was with Mr. Lamar's knowledge - it was a cleansing and an admission of guilt. Not only did Macklemore want to show respect to his fellow rapper, but he also wanted the world to know that he understands his place in the hip-hop ecosystem and that he is still careful where he steps.