Rapper Macklemore is noted to have Mainly A white fanbase, and in many ways he is sending a message to his fans and the rest of the world with the song “White PRIVILEGE II” featuring singer JamIla Woods.
This is a music blog. And a music blog it will always be, but sometimes it’s nice to have the opportunity to talk about something deeper, especially when music allows us to do so. There is an obvious internal war going on with police authorities and their actions towards African-Americans. We will leave political views out of this, but there needs to be change when there are people being killed, no matter what. Death is something we take for granted nowadays. We look at death like it’s nothing until it happens to someone close to us.
Grammy winning artists Macklemore & Ryan Lewis don’t have the best reputation with the majority of rap friends, and their Grammy victory is even being called one of the worst snubs in the show’s history, where they defeated Kendrick Lamar for best rap album. No matter if it was a snub or not, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis has developed a very strong following for their light-hearted track “Thrift Shop” and their song “Same Love”, supporting same sex relationships. The two are continuing to use their music to send a strong social message. Even if you aren’t a fan of them, take the time to their 8 minute track titled “White Privilege II”.
The track starts off with Macklemore telling us he is in the middle of a protest march. Those around him start to chant stuff like “black lives matter”, which he supports, but he doesn’t feel that he deserves to chant with them. He says “how can I breathe, when they can’t?”, referencing the death of Eric Garner by law enforcement. Macklemore also explains that he was born into this world with more of a privilege because of the color of his skin. He shows us that white privilege is real, and it has been overlooked in what is supposed to be a “progressive” country. Macklemore is absolutely using his music to impact people, and the most impactful lines came when he was referencing what his fans say to him and what a majority of his fans views are. Here they are:
“Pssst, I totally get it, you’re by yourself
And the last thing you want to do is take a picture
But seriously, my little girl loves you
She’s always singing, “I’m gonna pop some tags”
I’m not kidding, my oldest, you even got him to go thrifting
And “One Love,” oh my God, that song, brilliant
Their aunt is gay, when that song came out
My son told his whole class he was actually proud
That’s so cool, look what you’re accomplishing
Even the old mom like me likes it, cause it’s positive
You’re the only hip-hop that I let my kids listen to
Cause you get it, all that negative stuff isn’t cool”
“Yeah, like, all the guns and the drugs
The bitches and the hoes and the gangs and the thugs
Even the protest outside, so sad, and so dumb
If a cop pulls you over, it’s your fault if you run”
[various male and female voices]
“So, they feel that the police are discriminating against the — the black people?” — I have an advantage? Why? Cause I’m white? (laughs) What? (laughs) No.” — “See, more people nowadays are just pussies. Like, this is the generation to be offended by everything.” — “Black Lives Matter thing is a reason to take arms up over perceived slights.” — “I’m not prejudiced, I just—” — Ninety-nine percent of the time, across this country, the police are doing their job properly.”
Macklemore is sharing to the world, and specifically his fans, that there needs to be a change, and it has to happen now. “White Privilege II” is a refreshing reminder that music can be used to influence the world, and that is exactly the hope that came with creating it.
Death is crazy. Murder is crazier. Murder because of the color of skin is insane.
Be safe friends.