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.



Advertisements

Latest Entertainment News

  • Rep: 'Partridge Family' star David Cassidy hospitalized

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK - "Partridge Family" star David Cassidy has been hospitalized in Florida. His representative tells The Associated Press on Saturday that Cassidy is "now conscious" and "surrounded by family." The rep adds that Cassidy was in pain and taken to the hospital on Wednesday. Source
  • 'Partridge Family' star David Cassidy 'surrounded by family' in hospital: rep

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- "Partridge Family" star David Cassidy has been hospitalized in Florida. His representative tells The Associated Press on Saturday that Cassidy is "now conscious" and "surrounded by family." The rep adds that Cassidy was in pain and taken to the hospital on Wednesday. Source
  • Partridge Family star David Cassidy hospitalized

    Entertainment CBC News
    Partridge Family star David Cassidy has been hospitalized in Florida. His representative told The Associated Press on Saturday that Cassidy is "now conscious" and "surrounded by family." The rep adds that Cassidy was in pain and taken to the hospital on Wednesday. Source
  • Renowned fashion designer Azzedine Alaï?a dead at 77

    Entertainment CBC News
    Some might know his name from a quick reference by Alicia Silverstone about her party dress in the 1995 film Clueless. Others will recognize his extensive celebrity clientele. Tunisian fashion designer Azzedine Alaï?a, whose form-fitting designs earned him the title "king of cling," has died at the age of 77, according to media reports. Source
  • Harry Styles, Miguel set for Victoria's Secret China show

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Singer Harry Styles and R&B star Miguel will perform at the Victoria's Secret fashion show in Shanghai on Monday. People magazine reports that Tony winner Leslie Odom Jr. and Chinese singer Jane Zhang will also perform at the Mercedes-Benz Arena. Source
  • Woman must pay Katy Perry for interfering with convent sale

    Entertainment CBC News
    A jury has found that a businesswoman must pay $5 million US to singer Katy Perry and the archdiocese of Los Angeles, finding that the woman intentionally interfered with the sale to Perry of a hilltop property that was once a convent. Source
  • AC/DC co-founder and guitarist Malcolm Young dead at 64

    Entertainment CBC News
    Malcolm Young, who founded the Australian rock band AC/DC along with his brother Angus, has died at age 64 after suffering from dementia for several years, the band said on its Facebook page on Saturday. Malcolm Young was a songwriter, backing vocalist and rhythm guitarist for AC/DC, a hard rock and heavy metal band that was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2003. Source
  • AC/DC co-founder and guitarist Malcolm Young dies at 64

    Entertainment CTV News
    Legendary AC/DC guitarist Malcolm Young has died, according to the band. He was 64. A statement on the AC/DC website said the band’s members are feeling a “deep, heartfelt sadness” following news of his death, adding that Malcolm was “the driving force behind the band. Source
  • 'I wrote stealthily for 10 years': Giller nominee Michelle Winters

    Entertainment CBC News
    Until recently, Michelle Winters always wrote in secret. She scribbled away in her apartment on weekends and after she finished her 9-to-5 shift as a translator for a software company in Toronto. Source
  • 'I rely on the beats and vibrations': Lack of sign language at concerts frustrates deaf Canadians

    Entertainment CBC News
    Gaitrie Persaud didn't think she could go see Jay Z perform in Toronto next week — not because she's deaf but because she didn't know if the venue would provide the sign language interpreter she requires. Source