Macklemore’s New Song “White Privilege II” Could Mackle A Little Less
Last night, Macklemore dropped his latest single, off his upcoming album, “What An Unruly Mess I’ve Made,” out later this year in February. Said track is called “White Privilege II”, featuring his ing-time collaborator Ryan Lewis and Chicago poet-singer-activist Jamila Woods. It’s an eight minute long Hamilton-esque wokening that appears to grapple with the struggle of being an ally in a white body who makes money off of black music. Does that sound like a lot? It’s an awful lot.
The song starts out with an inner monologue of Macklemore’s various doubts and fears about participating in Black Lives Matter protests while being white.
“Okay, I’m saying that they’re chanting out, ‘Black lives matter,’ but I don’t say it back / 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.”
Valid point, Macklemore. He also goes in on other artists like Miley Cyrus and Elvis Presley, both who have been accused of exploiting black culture for their own gain. He reserves the majority of his criticism for Iggy Azalea:
“Fake and so plastic, you’ve heisted the magic / You’ve taken the drums and the accent you rapped in / You’re branded ‘hip-hop,’ it’s so fascist and backwards / That Grandmaster Flash’d go slap it, you bastard / All the money that you made / All the watered-down pop bullshit version of the culture, pal.”
All right. “Fascist” is a strong word and feels like punching down more than anything else, but if “White Privilege II” is any indication, Macklemore has been consumed with trying to do better, or at least figuring out what “better” means for him. The whole thing ends on a high note, with Jamila Woods delivering a solid outro, singing “Your silence is a luxury, hip-hp is not a luxury.”
Listen to the song, if you can, or if you can’t(I get it), just go read the lyrics here.