Pastorals are typically descriptions, often poetic, of areas of open land. The term is synonymous with shepherds and farm land. The idea of pastorals is not restricted to rural areas, however. For example, Macklemore provides a detailed account of his city, Seattle, in the lyric "The Town." Contrary to popular belief, pastoral themed literature is not restricted to talking about rural landscapes. An illustration of an urban center can also be considered pastoral literature given that beauty is shown in its most elemental form.
Pastoral Literature is about taking the complex and making it simple. In the past, authors take the complexities of nature (i.e. seasons, various terrains) and simplify them focusing on illustrating beauty from simply nature. This is what Macklemore does in "The Town." He may do so to differentiate himself from so many other rappers nowadays. It seems like today, rappers rarely are able let true beauty show. They nearly always overshadow natural beauty with over-the-top raps about tangible things. (i.e drinking, smoking, clubbing, cars, money, bitches)
Rather than implement a bunch of hyperbolae and braggadocio style lyrics, Macklemore presents Seattle as simply Seattle. More specifically, he focuses on what truly makes Seattle great, it's people:
"This is our city, town pride, heart, blood, sweat, tears, I-5, North, South side, vibe, live, ride down these city blocks. And never will be stopped"
Even the music video is focused more on presenting Seattle's own people than having Macklemore rocking gold chains in a Maybach down I-5. In my opinion, simplicity can illicit true beauty far more than embellishments. I encourage you to watch it and see what I mean. Notice that the people in the video are just regular people going about their lives.
The Town official Video
Do you think it's refreshing for listeners to every once in a while hear rap music that's centered on natural beauty rather than tangible things?