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When it comes to big time rappers, Macklemore is one of the most squeaky clean figures around, if not ever. So when Aliso Niguel High School of Orange County, California initially refused to allow the Seattle crossover star and his secret weapon producer, Ryan Lewis to enter their hallways and give them $10,000 for their music program, the students felt it best to take a stand.

On October 7, Aliso Niguel won the “Chegg + Macklemore & Ryan Lewis” contest after entering on the textbook sales and rental website, according to The OC Register. Their elation was short-lived when principal Deni Christensen announced that select parents of the student body had issues with the Grammy Award winners “drug and misogyny” promotion and the event was immediately cancelled. Macklemore even reacted to the news, tweeting that it was “disappointing.” (Perhaps thought all rappers began and ended with Straight Outta Compton?)

Upset but unbroken, the school launched a social media campaign under the hashtag #BringBackMack and a petition with student and adult signatures was also circulated. No later than 24 hours later, Christensen revealed the Macklemore appearance had returned to its scheduled programmed with a conditional update. The cool kids (and kids with uncool parents) would be segregated by a permission slip that would allow entry to the event on December 17.

“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, ” said Deni Christensen in a prepared statement. In recognition of our students‘ efforts in winning this contest, and a desire to provide students the option of hearing a presentation regarding the music industry, the importance of music education and the arts, along with a Q & A session with the two artists, we will be holding this event after school hours in December.”

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ latest single, “Downtown” may have some quality issues but it’s anything but druggy and misogynistic.

Photo: Judy Eddy/