Macklemore and Ryan Lewis release new music with ‘White Privilege 2.’ The track is a follow up to the classic local album The Language of My World. Although he has caught some heat for this very topic, Macklemore aims to further the conversation on the new release. This topic has been a consistent element in Macklemore’s music since the early days, and in my eyes it’s where he truly shines. I have been no stranger to throwing shade at Macklemore for his comedic records, but I have always thought this man has undeniable talent and best showcases this talent on emotional topics and ‘White Privilege 2’ dicusses exactly that.
I specifically remember buying The Language of My World at Bumbershoot in 2006 from Budo and Macklemore. “White Privilege” was one of the stand out songs on the near 20-ish track album. This song was before its time, before Macklemore’s fame and before gentrification had become as BIG of a conversation as it is today (it was definitely still an issue). This very topic has been almost a controversy surrounding Macklemore within the local scene and something I even predicted would be touched on inside the upcoming album This Unruly Mess I’ve Made. For years, inner city hip-hop artists of Seattle have criticized Macklemore for openly discussing this topic before his fame and in turn “living out the prophecy” he spoke of on “White Privilege” the first time around. Since the release of this record last night I have even seen backlash towards Macklemore in the form of:
A. He is white, where does he get off talking about white privilege?
B. His music is too political and brings up too many current issues.
My response to both those issues are…you’re lame! How will we ever overcome racial separation if a white person doesn’t spread awareness of white privilege? African Americans have been protesting and crying out for decades and the issues is still as prevalent now as it was 40 years ago. The typical Caucasian response is “slavery is in the past, Martin Luther King is in the past, we are all equal now!” White privilege isn’t about slavery or segregation, if you bring those up as a response you are officially part of the problem! In my opinion we don’t need reparations, we don’t need some massive apology, and we don’t need to do anything special. We just need to admit that the issue exists, and then we can work on changing things. It all starts with admitting we have a problem.
The rebuttal to backlash B is simple. Why would it be a problem if a musician used his art and influence to talk about things that matter? Is this a claim that Macklemore uses these topics to gain fame? Go do your homework and hear his music when nobody knew who he was. The most powerful music of the last century is all based around social conversations. If Macklemore can talk about things that matter over great music, by all means please continue Mr. Haggerty. This record is nothing short of great, with its substance and music. The music on this record will speak for itself, although I beg of you to listen to the words. The Kanye worthy cast of musicians and depth of the instrumental should satisfy fans of any genre.
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis – White Privilege 2
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