Macklemore’s “White Privilege II” Sparks Discussion

Macklemore just released a new song called White Privilege II, which is a follow-up to his 2005 song White Privilege. The song has started a discussion among other hip hop artists, activists and users on social media.

In the song, Macklemore speaks about racism and white privilege. He says that he, as a white man, is aware of this issue. He has been an ally in the Black Lives Matters movement, which he also reflects on in the song with the line, “Is this awkward, should I even be here marching?”

Activist DeRay Mckesson spoke to Macklemore about his song, and he learned that the inspiration for the song came from the non-indictment against Darren Wilson. Darren Wilson is a former police officer who shot and killed Mike Brown, an unarmed black teenager. The death of Mike Brown caused riots and demonstrations, and it was the beginning of a movement that shed light on police brutality and racism among white police officers.

White Privilege II also received feedback from Iggy Azalea who didn’t seem to appreciate the song. In one of the verses, Macklemore says:

“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”

This refers to the white artists who have no problems with borrowing things from black culture but stay silent as soon as something racist is said or done. Instead of understanding the song, Iggy Azalea responded with, “he shouldn’t have spent the last 3 yrs having friendly convos and taking pictures together at events etc if those were his feelings.”

Rapper Talib Kweli was not happy with Azalea’s response. He took to Twitter to voice his opinion saying, “The fact @iggyazalea thinks Macklemore song was a diss to her, instead of actually listening, is proof of her privilege.” He then continued to show just what he thought of the female rapper by tweeting:

Although Macklemore has good intentions with the song, the release of the track shows exactly what white privilege is. Macklemore isn’t saying anything new. He is merely saying what black activists have been saying for years. However, the general, white, public won’t listen to them and their own experiences, but they do listen to Macklemore. This, understandably, frustrates many people, because Macklemore isn’t the one affected by this social issue, and he knows this. During his conversation with DeRay Mckesson, he said that they “talked about how the very privileging of whiteness he addresses creates imbalanced exposure for a message many have said before.”

Actor Matt McGorry asked Mckesson on Twitter, if there were any aspects of the song that he felt could’ve addressed privilege in a better and/or more effective way. Mckesson answered that he didn’t think the message of the song came across clear enough to some people. He also answered, “awareness is the beginning, not the end, of this work.”

Macklemore’s White Privilege II is important, but it is not a solution to the major problem. He shouldn’t be praised for saying what the oppressed people have been saying for years. The song should be taken as a conversation starter, and it will hopefully get more privileged people talking and reflecting.

What is your opinion of White Privilege II? Leave a comment below or send us a tweet at @CelebMix.

Written by Josephine Sjelhøj

CelebMix Editor

Obsessed with 90's tv shows

Twitter: @_JosephineS