Earlier this month, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis caught fans by surprise when they released the Ed Sheeran-assisted track “Growing Up (Sloane’s Song),” a touching musical tribute to Macklemore’s daughter Sloane Ava Simone Haggerty, who was born on May 29.
“Growing Up” is their latest track since 2012’s debut The Heist, but a rep for the duo told Billboard that the release was a “personal moment of expression,” and not the lead single from their sophomore album.
Their official single off the as-yet-untitled LP, “Downtown,” arrived Thursday morning as KIIS FM world premiere, and the duo phoned in to On Air with Ryan Seacrest to explain the track’s reminiscent beats.
“It took a really, really long time to make this one,” they said. “We spent like a year and a half on it. It is a song celebrating the love of two wheels — whether that be a moped or a motorcycle. It has legends: Melle Mel, Kool Moe Dee, Grandmaster Caz, Eric Nally. It is taking you back to the textures and styles of the late ’70s, early ’80s and sort of putting that origin sound of hip-hop and what rock music was doing at the time side-by-side on a single record.”