Jamila Woods and poets Nikkita Oliver and Danez Smith appeared with him.
Macklemore appeared on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert on Monday night to perform “White Privilege II,” off his forthcoming album, This Unruly Mess I’ve Made. The track, which he released last month, is a sequel to his 2005 song “White Privilege,” and explores cultural appropriation and issues of race and class in today’s political climate.
Though its studio cut is nearly nine minutes long, Macklemore shortened the track for Colbert, and added accompaniments from singer Jamila Woods and poets Nikkita Oliver and Danez Smith.
When the song first came out, fans and critics latched onto the verse in which the rapper name checks Iggy Azalea and Miley Cyrus. “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,” he says, mentioning artists who identify with rap and soul music.
In an interview about the verse, Macklemore told Hot 97’s Ebro In The Morning, “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.”
See his performance on Colbert: