Macklemore calls out Miley Cyrus, Iggy Azalea in song on 'white privilege'

NEW YORK -- Macklemore explores racism and hip-hop in a new song called "White Privilege II" -- rapping about a white person's position in society with black people fighting injustice -- and even namechecks Miley Cyrus, Iggy Azalea and Elvis Presley for appropriating black culture, along with himself.

See Full Article

The track, released Friday, is close to nine minutes long and starts with the Grammy-winning rapper at a march in support of the "Black Lives Matter" movement.

"I wanna take a stance because we are not free, and I thought about it, we are not we," he raps on the song, released with his musical partner Ryan Lewis. "Am I in the outside looking in? Or am I in the inside looking out?"

"I appreciate his honesty and all the ways he's looking at racism and his part in it," Cori Murray, the entertainment director for Essence magazine, said in an interview. "I don't think there's an easy answer and I think that he really did just say very plainly, ...'I know I'm appropriating black culture but I'm trying to do it in the most authentic way."'

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis released the song the same week Spike Lee, Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith and others said they were boycotting the Academy Awards because of two straight years of all-white acting nominees. The Seattle-based duo was not available for an interview for this story, but their website says the song "is the outcome of an ongoing dialogue with musicians, activists, and teachers within our community in Seattle and beyond."

What has gotten major attention on social media from the song was Macklemore namedropping famous singers who are regularly accused of appropriating black culture.

"You've exploited and stolen the music, the moment, the magic, the passion, the fashion you toyed with, the culture was never yours to make better, your Miley, your Elvis, your Iggy Azalea," Macklemore raps. At another point he says, "We wanna dress like, talk like, walk like, dance like, but we just stand by, we take all we want from black culture, but do we show up for black lives?"

Azalea, known for the hits "Fancy" and "Black Widow," responded on Twitter after a fan pointed the song out to her.

"He shouldnt have spent the last 3 yrs having friendly convos and taking pictures together at events etc if those were his feelings," Azalea wrote.

Hot 97 radio personality Peter Rosenberg said the diss was just Macklemore being honest.

"You can take it as an all-out insult, as Iggy did ... but that's appropriate, it's done factually. I like Elvis' music, I think a lot of people appreciate the icon Elvis is, but that's very much what it is," said Rosenberg, who co-hosts "Ebro in the Morning" and played "White Privilege II" early Friday during the radio show.

"Miley became one that really got irritating to a lot of people and I like that (Macklemore) did it. ...It's not like he's just doing that blindly and not introspectively about himself also. You can be offended by it, but it's not like he doesn't include himself sort of in the conversation, because that's what the whole song is about," he continued.

Murray echoed Rosenberg's statement: "I loved his honesty. I loved that he was factual, and I hope he was saying it also for himself, in a way."

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis became a white-hot success when they independently released their 2013 debut "The Heist," which featured the multi-platinum No. 1 hits "Thrift Shop" and "Can't Hold Us." The success also brought them drama: after submitting their songs and album to the rap categories at the Grammys, they were kicked out of the category by the rap committee, though the decision was later overruled. They went on to win three Grammy awards in 2014, including best new artist, rap performance and rap album, besting critical darling Kendrick Lamar. After it, Macklemore said that Lamar should have won best rap album.

The duo returned to music last year with the platinum single "Downtown" -- which features Kool Moe Dee, Melle Mel, Grandmaster Caz and Eric Nally -- and will release their sophomore album, "This Unruly Mess I've Made," on Feb. 26.

Rosenberg said "White Privilege II" is not a surprise from Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, who are advocates for gay rights and had success with the same-sex anthem, "Same Love." The group are supporters of organizations such as Black Lives Matter, People's Institute for Survival and Beyond, Youth Undoing Institutional Racism & Freedom School and Black Youth Project 100.

"That's who he's always been. Him having an introspective song about wanting to support certain causes ... that's who he is," he said.


Latest Entertainment News

  • 80s pop star Rick Astley explains his exile and return to music

    Entertainment CBC News
    Rick Astley walked away from the music industry at the height of his pop star success in the 1980s and says he never regretted it. "When you're in the middle of it, some people rise to it and they become that life and that's who they are," Astley said in a phone interview from his home on the edge of London, England. Source
  • Comic's comic Kevin Meaney dead at 60

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    FORESTBURGH, N.Y. — Kevin Meaney, a comic’s comic who worked the standup circuit, was a staple on late-night TV and starred in the short-lived 1990s CBS series “Uncle Buck,” has died at age 60, his agent said Saturday. Source
  • YouTube stars meet fans, each other at Toronto Buffer Fest

    Entertainment CBC News
    YouTube has proven its power to catapult people into stardom—think Justin Bieber, Brampton's Alessia Cara and Australian-born teen star Cody Simpson, to name a few. At Toronto's Buffer Festival, from Oct. 20-23, online creators are reminded they're rockstars in their own right, at least when it comes to YouTube. Source
  • Comic's comic Kevin Meaney died at age 60

    Entertainment CTV News
    FORESTBURGH, N.Y. - Comic Kevin Meaney, who worked the standup circuit, was a late-night TV staple and starred in the short-lived 1990s series "Uncle Buck," has died. He was 60. Agent Tom Ingegno said Saturday his client was found dead Friday at his home in Forestburgh, New York. Source
  • Emmys 'not rigged': TV Academy fires back at Donald Trump

    Entertainment CBC News
    The Television Academy fired back at Donald Trump's claim that the Emmys are rigged. And celebrities are backing up the annual awards show. In a tweet earlier this week with a link to its voting process, the academy said: "Rest assured, the Emmys are not rigged. Source
  • 'Gilmore Girls' fangirl writes cookbook inspired by TV show

    Entertainment CTV News
    Just in time for the highly anticipated return of "Gilmore Girls" next month, a fangirl has written a cookbook inspired by the caffeinated, fast-food, deep-fried-loving tastebuds of one of TV's most beloved mother-daughter duos. Fans of the show will undoubtedly have cleared November 25 on their calendars to watch the first of four episodes debuting on Netflix. Source
  • Salma Hayek: Trump made story up because she wouldn't date him

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Mexican actress Salma Hayek has accused U.S. presidential hopeful Donald Trump of telling tales about her after turning down his advances. The Frida star opened up about her links to the Republican during an appearance on radio show El Show del Mandril on Friday, and wanted to set the record straight about a story she claimed Trump’s associates leaked to the National Enquirer. Source
  • Gord Downie's Secret Path enhances his legacy

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Have you ever felt like you were witnessing history? I thought I was two months ago as The Tragically Hip wrapped up their Man Machine Poem tour in their hometown of Kingston and I was lucky enough to be inside the K-Rock Centre while about a third of the country watched it live on CBC. Source
  • Lindsay Lohan facing bankruptcy over unpaid rent: Reports

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Lindsay Lohan is allegedly facing bankruptcy after failing to pay the rent on her $4.3 million London flat. Lawyers for the landlord of the property, located in the exclusive Knightsbridge area of the British capital, have issued the 30-year-old with legal papers demanding payment of six months of overdue rent, totalling $95,000. Source
  • Nobel academy member calls Bob Dylan's silence 'arrogant'

    Entertainment CTV News
    STOCKHOLM -- A member of the Swedish Academy that awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in literature to Bob Dylan says the U.S. singer-songwriter's silence since receiving the honour is "impolite and arrogant." Per Wastberg said Dylan's lack of reaction was predictable but disrespectful nonetheless. Source