Music Spotlight: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Mackelmore & Ryan Lewis Feat. Jamila Woods – White Privilege II

 

 

A hip-hop artist can be of any race music was meant to be shared and expressive. Hip-Hop music is one of my favorite genres and many of the songs today have lost the message it used to hold when Hip-Hop started in the late 70s and here we run into a white Hip-Hop artist with a message about his white privilege.

When you listen to this song, listen to the message and see what your feelings are afterwards. I suggest you go no where near the comments because it’s filled with white guilt, trolls and all types of racial slurs from keyboard warriors and it’s sad that just because Macklemore decided to do a song about feelings he has and many people are invalidating his feeling because they feel offended by the song. I liked that Macklemore used his platform to talk about his privilege.

Since listening to the song this has been sitting on my mind and I have read a little bit of the controversy surrounding it and everyone’s reaction to the song and a few things that stuck out to me was Azealia Banks tweets saying macklemore doesn’t speak for her and I thought why would anyone think this white man is trying to speak for black people? He wrote a song about his privilege and what he observed by looking at all the black lives matter protest that doesn’t make him a savior of any kind. I didn’t understand her logic because she has always flipped flopped on many topics so I moved on and saw Rapper Talib Kweli was sending tweets to Iggy Azalea when she responded to a fan about the song here’s the article that points out the “important” tweets but if neither deleted it off their twitter yet you could follow all of it there it was a good read and Talib had so many points that Iggy didn’t seem to want to directly address.

I feel very strongly about appropriation and staying aware in a world that seems to put you down for being pro-black, for being pro ME. Its a very difficult conversation to have for many people and Macklemore opened the door a little more for this conversation but it also comes back to can people have a conversation about racism, privilege, etc. and be willing to make a change? Sadly I believe the answer is no.

Mackelmore & Ryan Lewis also appeared on Sway in the Morning with guest Jamila Woods and others

 

Here’s a few lines that did stick with me when I first listened to the song.

“Is it my place to give my two cents?
Or should I stand on the side and shut my mouth?
“No justice, no peace,” okay, I’m saying that
They’re chanting out, “Black Lives Matter,” but I don’t say it back
Is it okay for me to say? I don’t know, so I watch and stand
In front of a line of police that look the same as me
Only separated by a badge, a baton, a can of Mace, a mask
A shield, a gun with gloves and hands that gives an alibi
In case somebody dies behind a bullet that flies out of the 9
Takes another child’s life on sight”

“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
Fake and so plastic, you’ve heisted the magic
You’ve taken the drums and the accent you rapped in
Your brand of hip-hop, it’s so fascist and backwards”

“The DIY underdog, so independent
But the one thing the American dream fails to mention
Is I was many steps ahead to begin with
My skin matches the hero, likeness, the image
America feels safe with my music in their systems
And it’s suited me perfect, the role, I’ve fulfilled it
And if I’m the hero, you know who gets cast as the villain”

“You speak about equality, but do you really mean it?
Are you marching for freedom, or when it’s convenient?”

“We want to dress like, walk like, talk like, dance like, yet we just stand by
We take all we want from black culture, but will we show up for black lives?”

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