Macklemore and Ryan Lewis are finding supporters – and critics – for their new song, ‘White Privilege II.’
The new tune, which Macklemore discussed Friday on social media, explores racism, police shootings and the Black Lives Matter movement.
“They’re chanting out, ‘Black Lives Matter,’ but I don’t say it back,” he said in the song. “Is it okay for me to say? I don’t know, so I watch and stand in front of a line of police that look the same as me.”
The ‘Thrift Store’ rapper echoed his critics who have called him out for being a white rapper.
“You’ve exploited and stolen the music, the moment, the magic, the passion, the fashion,” he said.
Macklemore dropped some big names to which he has been compared.
“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.”
Australian-born rapper Azalea wasn’t happy.
She responded to a fan on Twitter regarding the reference saying, “he shouldn’t have spent the last 3 yrs having friendly convos and taking pictures together at events etc if those were his feelings.”
“This song is the outcome of an ongoing dialogue with musicians, activists and teachers within our community in Seattle and beyond,” said the website for the song.
Macklemore confronts his “white privilege” in lines such as this: “We take all we want from black culture, but will we show up for black lives?”
Macklemore, who is no stranger to criticism, faced some backlash following his and Lewis’ Grammy win for best new artist in 2014.
At the time, Macklemore texted fellow nominee Kendrick Lamar, “You got robbed. I wanted you to win.”
The new song has ignited a slew of responses on social media both praising and condemning Macklemore.
And Macklemore's song is not above critique, he knows this. It should be critically engaged. All art should be critically engaged.
— deray (@deray) January 23, 2016
White Privilege II by @macklemore is a very thought-provoking song that discusses a subject that is rarely introduced in modern music.
— bohoe 🌙 (@DAnTron24) January 24, 2016
MACKLEMORE WILL BE PRAISED FOR HIS WHITE PRIVILEGE SONG, BUT BLACK ARTISTS WHO RAP ABOUT THEIR FIRST-PERSON STRUGGLES ARENT
— LDG🇵🇸 (@LeoDGrey) January 24, 2016