Macklemore Resurfaces to Call Out Miley & Iggy for Cultural Appropriation

Since his 2012 debut of the powerful song, “Same Love,” Macklemore has produced a career-making brand out of being that cis white guy that allies with the marginalized. With his peak likely behind him, it’s up to Macklemore to make as many statements as he can while his name still kind of means something to the tabloids. And so he’s done it again with his newly released track, “White Privilege II.”

The song mostly sounds like a PSA made by the cool artsy teacher in a high school, you know the one that really hopes he can make a difference. You know the one guy that says, I really like high schoolers with the kind of hope that induces nausea. Featuring short sound bites of what sounds like street interviews, Macklemore expertly calls out systematic oppression and appropriation of black culture… most of the time which is completely ignored. In a style that mirrors that of spoken word, he raps:

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/ You’ve heisted the magic / You’ve taken the drums and the accent you rap in/ Your brand of hip hop is so fascist and backwards that Grandmaster Flash is gonna slap you, you bastard.

Boasting an innumerable variety of stance and talking points, in the length of an 8:42 track, the line about Miley Cyrus, Elvis and Iggy Azalea can easily get swallowed and forgotten, but it’s important to note that Miley and Elvis are rarely publicly criticized for their appropriation because they’re mostly well-liked. Meanwhile, Iggy is a walking, human meme and becomes target for all scrutiny and backlash regarding her persona. For Miley and Elvis, it’s like giving them a free ticket to take whatever they want as long as they can remain favorable in the face of whiteness.

And we all do this. Most of the time we don’t even realize it. What we think is appreciation is usually a knock-off, misrepresentation or completely ignorant hijacking. But as long as there’s someone on Instagram doing the same thing, wearing the same thing, thinking the same thing, the circle of validation will continue. So he underscores all these points with:

We take all we want from black culture, but will we show up for black lives?

Probably not, because you’re apathetic about political efficacy, you think protesting is too great an inconvenience or you believe the dialogue that is oppression is somehow deserved.

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7 years ago

Modern culture sucks balls. Holy s**t people, appropriation is a form of flattery. It shows you value what the culture is offering, and you copy because you like it and other people like it. And it has been going on for thousands of years. and people now are so stupid and think they are so enlightened, yet are too dumb to actually see it. Macklemore is a POS white rapper who does it himself, yet he didn’t call himself out. Wonder why? Because he’s a dumb ass, that is why. So ironic. Sick of the politics of division. America is… Read more »