Macklemore has some words for Miley Cyrus and Iggy Azalea.
The rapper and Ryan Lewis have released “White Privilege II,” another track from their forthcoming album This Unruly Mess I’ve Made. Macklemore raps about racism, Black Lives Matter, white privilege, and cultural appropriation in the eight-minute song, which is a sequel to “White Privilege” from the 2005 album The Language of My World. “Take all we want from black culture, but will we show up for black lives?” he says.
Macklemore also calls out Cyrus and Azalea, rapping, “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.”
Macklemore himself has been involved in conversations of appropriating hip-hop and rap music, which were highlighted when he beat out Kendrick Lamar for the Best Rap Album Grammy in 2014.
During a 2014 visit to Hot 97’s Ebro in the Morning he said, “This is not a culture that white people started. So I do believe, as much as I have honed my craft, as much as I have put in years of dedication into the music that I love, I do believe that I need to know my place, and that comes from me listening.”
In a statement about the song, Macklemore wrote, “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.” He also wrote that his company (Mackleore & Ryan Lewis LLC) will work with Black Lives Matter, People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, Youth Undoing Institutional Racism & Freedom School, and Black Youth Project 100 to increase dialogue.