This morning I came across a twitter rant over the frustration with Macklemore and his artistry as it related to the hip-hop culture. The rant was fueled by Macklemore’s newest track titled “White Privilege II” featuring soul singer Jamila Woods. On the track Macklemore spits about social justice and his white privilege. It’s interesting! On the first verse Macklemore shares his thoughts on being a white man, better yet a white rapper at a Black Lives Matter protest.
“Thinking if they can’t, how can I breathe? Thinking that they chant, what do I sing? I want to take a stance cause we are not free and then I thought about it, we are not we! Am I in the outside looking in, or am I in the inside looking out? Is it my place to give my two cents or should I stand on the side and shut my mouth for justice?”
On the second verse, Macklemore sites white entertainers such as Miley Cyrus, Elvis Presley and Iggy Azalea, all who built their empires off of black culture. He continues to question there intentions. Are they completely with the movement or are they just using their white privilege to gain success off of our culture?
“You’ve exploited and stolen the music, the moment! The magic, the passion, the fashion, you toy with the culture was never yours to make better You’re Miley, you’re Elvis, you’re Iggy Azalea,”
On the third and fourth verse Macklemore questions his position as a white rapper in the hip-hop industry. While he’s over the “fame” that he claimed off of pop tracks such as “Thrift Shop” and “Downtown”, he understands that he must use this platform to make a difference. What’s the point of embracing the hip-hop culture if black lives don’t matter? Jamila Woods concludes the track with a powerful verse, “Your silence is a luxury, hip-hop is not a luxury! What I got for me, it is for me! Why we may, we made to set us free!”
I think that “White Privilege II” is a powerful track that is needed from a white entertainer in 2016! So often we questioned the Iggy Azaleas and Macklemore’s intent of using black culture to their advantage, especially at a time when black people are dying left and right. I believe that the track is gold and I respect Macklemore completely for using his platform to raise awareness. Not only does he speak on the social injustices but it’s so truthful coming from the perspective of a white man who appreciates the culture! I would like to know your thoughts? Where are my hip-hop heads? Is Macklemore’s “White Privilege II” the truth we need from white entertainers in 2016 or is Macklemore just another privileged artist using the culture to his advantage? Sound off in the comment box below!