Macklemore may be looped in with the likes of Miley Cyrus and Iggy Azalea when it comes to criticism surrounding the appropriation of black culture, but he's making a clear point today in separating himself from them.
In fact, the rapper just dropped his latest song with Ryan Lewis called "White Privilege II"—a follow-up to the original 2005 track "White Privilege"—in which he not only expresses his determination to rally behind the black community, but he also calls out both Cyrus and Azalea for their lack of attention to the people they "stole" their music from.
He raps, "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/ You've heisted the magic / You've taken the drums and the accent you rap in/ Your brand of hip hop is so fascist and backwards that Grandmaster Flash is gonna slap you, you bastard."
More than just shading the two musicians, however, Macklemore's new track is delivered with a strong message about racism, Black Lives Matter and coming together with musicians and activists to stand with the black community.
"We wanna dress like, walk like, talk like, dance like yet we just stand by," he raps toward the conclusion of the song. "We take all we want from black culture, but will we show up for black lives?"
In addition to the new track, Macklemore and Lewis released a statement, saying, "This song is the outcome of an ongoing dialogue with musicians, activists, and teachers within our community in Seattle and beyond. Their work and engagement was essential to the creative process."
They also revealed their company (Macklemore & Ryan Lewis LLC) is "committed to a long-term investment of our time, resources, finances and creative capacities towards supporting black-led organizing and anti-racist education & discourse," which include Black Lives Matter, People's Institute for Survival and Beyond, Youth Undoing Institutional Racism & Freedom School and Black Youth Project 100.
They note, "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."