Traded my artist and I pawned off the easel
Spend it all searching for God at the Neon Cathedral
He refers to the bar as being his church, because he feels that the only way for him to cope with his problems and repent for his mistakes is through escaping to alcoholism, and abusing himself in the process. He has traded his passion and talent and all that he owns to allow him to rap for his addiction even pawning off all his equipment to finance his alcohol abuse.
The Neon Cathedral could also refer to the neon lights of a liquor store meaning that Macklemore was searching for God and peace in the bottom of the bottle from the “cathedral” that is the liquor store.
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