Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are gearing up to release their album This Unruly Mess I’ve Made on Feb. 26. After addressing addiction on the Leon Bridges-assisted “Kevin,” the Seattle duo speaks out on racism, Black Lives Matter, and cultural appropriation on the nine-minute sequel to “White Privilege” from the 2005 album The Language of My World.
On the powerful anthem featuring Jamila Woods, Macklemore raps about marching for Black Lives Matter. “OK, I’m saying that they’re chanting out, ‘Black lives matter,’ but I don’t say it back / Is it OK 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.”
He also acknowledges his appropriation of black culture and calls out others including Elvis Presley, Miley Cyrus, and Iggy Azalea.
“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 / You’re branded ‘hip-hop,’ it’s so fascist and backwards / That Grandmaster Flash’d go slap it, you bastard / All the money that you made / All the watered-down pop bullshit version of the culture, pal,” he raps.
Iggy responded to the lyrics, tweeting, “He shouldnt have spent the last 3 yrs having friendly convos and taking pictures together at events etc if those were his feelings.”
@lggysBae he shouldnt have spent the last 3 yrs having friendly convos and taking pictures together at events etc if those were his feelings
— IGGY AZALEA (@IGGYAZALEA) January 22, 2016
But he refuses to stay silent. “So what the fuck has happened to my voice if I stay silent / When black people are dying and I’m trying to be politically correct / I can book a whole tour, sell out the tickets / Rap entrepreneur, built his own business / If I’m only in this for my own self interest, not the culture that gave me a voice to begin with / Then this isn’t authentic, it is just a gimmick.”