New Music Friday: White Privilege pt. II- Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

“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. Fake and so plastic, you’ve heisted the magic. You’ve taken the drums and the accent you rapped in, Your brand of hip-hop, it’s so fascist and backwards.”

Oh hey Macklemore, way to come out swinging. In a sequel to his 2005 ‘White Privilege’ Macklemore and Ryan Lewis are joined by Jamila Woods touching on the Black Lives Matter movement, police brutality and the appropriation of black culture by white artists. Macklemore holds nothing back calling out Miley Cyrus, Iggy Azalea and Elvis in the verse quoted above. The song is available on iTunes for free, but internet dialogue on the issues implicated in the song are fairly divided. Some say it was necessary for Macklemore and Ryan Lewis to explore their white privilege to move the race conversation forward, while others found hypocrisy in the lyrics.

The artists themselves released a statement, in which they stated “we will continue to find ways in which we can leverage our platform and network towards strengthening the work of organizers and initiatives framed by genuine racial and social equity.We wish to support direct organizing and be led by the expertise and experience of those on the front lines as we proceed.” I for one, am all about artists using their platform to create social change but, as one Twitter user pointed out we’re still missing the point when #Macklemore is trending and #whiteprivilege is not. And as civil rights activist DeRay Mckesson shared on the social media platform “Macklemore is not a hero, a savior, or a prophet for discussing white privilege. He’s not saying he is, and you shouldn’t either.” The day after this post Mckesson detailed a conversation he had with Macklemore regarding his intent with the song and shared that “I left the call with Macklemore w/ a deeper understanding of his intent and his commitment to actions that reflect his awareness.” Concluding his series of tweets on the subject by reminding his followers that “Awareness is the beginning, not the end, of this work. I don’t think that message came across clear to some folks.”

Let me know what you think on Twitter @maddi_rose13 or in the comments below, is this hypocritical or just plain critical?

[Photo from hotnewhiphop article]

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