Macklemore Offers Penance for ‘White Privilege’: Links His Success to Darren Wilson

on stage during the MTV EMA's 2015 at the Mediolanum Forum on October 25, 2015 in Milan, Italy.
Brian Rasic/Getty Images for MTV

White rapper Macklemore has released an excruciatingly self-flagellating near nine-minute song explaining how white privilege is responsible for everything from his own success to why Officer Darren Wilson was “let off” after killing Michael Brown.

The song’s lyrics go:

White supremacy isn’t just a white dude in Idaho
White supremacy protects the privilege I hold
White supremacy is the soil, the foundation, the cement and the flag that flies outside of my home
White supremacy is our country’s lineage, designed for us to be indifferent
My success is the product of the same system that let off Darren Wilson—guilty

“White Privilege II” is a twelve hundred-plus word song decrying black cultural appropriation sung by a rich-straight-white-male. It is accompanied by a website describing the song as “the outcome of an ongoing dialogue with musicians, activists, and teachers within our community in Seattle and beyond.”

The rapper continues:

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?
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?

This pseudo philosophical gobbledygook is pretty rich.

The white rapper who beat out a black rapper, Kendrick Lamar, for last year’s Grammy for best rap album is whining about how white people feel free to profit from black culture while staying silent when blacks get bilked?

Some of the Seattle-based rapper’s lyrics make a shoddy attempt at self-awareness. But the entire effort still reeks of self-loathing elitism: A rich, white, heterosexual man admits that his only place in today’s Black Lives Matter movement is to simply nod his head in agreement–but ends up rapping about it for almost 10 minutes.

And it gets worse, still.

Macklemore’s (and Ryan Lewis’s) “White Privilege II” will become the leading single from a forthcoming album from which the rapper will make millions in album and ticket sales. An anthem meant to bring attention to the supposed ever-present and ever-oppressing problem of white privilege will ultimately end up being a million dollar money-making anthem for a white man.

The irony of a song so tone deaf is beyond brilliant.

And it’s quite fitting for Macklemore.

In 2012, the 32-year-old 9/11 truther pushed and shoved his way into the civil rights sphere with the Grammy-nominated song “Same Love,” which was pro-gay marriage. That episode also left many scratching their heads and asking why a straight male felt the need to perform a song about such a personally inconsequential subject.

Perhaps it’s because Macklemore is less a musician than an opportunistic culture vulture.


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