Several artists have plans for a big comeback in 2023. Among them is Macklemore, whose BEN project is due to drop in early March. This New Music Friday (January 20), the 39-year-old shared the lead single from the forthcoming album, called “HEROES.”

Throughout his verses, the “Thrift Shop” hitmaker pays homage to some of his biggest inspirations. Among them are DJ Quik and N.W.A., the latter of whom Mack allegedly heard for the first time at seven years old.

Macklemore performs onstage during iHeartRadio 103.5 KISS FM’s Jingle Ball 2022 Presented by Capital One at Allstate Arena on December 05, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for iHeartRadio)

“Seven, I heard NWA in the street / From my older neighbour who was playin’ ‘F*ck tha Police,’” he rhymes. “Eleven, writin’ graffiti, fifteen, I’m sellin’ weed / By sixteen, I had an MPC / (It was Hip Hop’s fault) That I wanted to grow up.”

As HipHopDX notes, Jake Magraw directed the song’s accompanying music video, which also features DJ Premier. Though he’s usually known for producing, this time around, the 56-year-old drops some bars on the chorus.

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“Pick up the mic, put your money where your mouth is / Doin’ petty crimes, back in the days / Too much OE, tipsy off the whiskey / Pick up the, the, the, the mic, the, the, the mic,” he rhymes over the infectious beat crafted by Joshua “Budo” Karp.

In a previously released trailer for the collaboration, the DJ reveals he was eager to work with Macklemore due to his authenticity. “From the time you came out doing your shit, all the way up to when you got a name that went to the mainstream…you still held on to the integrity of you as an artist,” Premier explained.

“You know, just the recognition you’re also in it for the love of the culture and that shows.”

The last track we heard from Mack saw him collaborating with NLE Choppa on “FAITHFUL.” Before that, he dropped off “Maniac” last summer, much to fan’s pleasure.

Stream Macklemore and DJ Premier’s “HEROES” single on Spotify or Apple Music below. Afterward, tell us who you’d like to see featured on the former’s BEN album in the comments.

Quotable Lyrics:

My heroes didn’t look yours, my heroes didn’t look yours, nah, nah
They didn’t work a 9 to 5, they worked a 5 to 4
Wake up at three and recordin’ more
See my heroes died of overdoses, rider for the culture
Mind type the psychosis, all the lies and show biz