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Macklemore Says He Didn’t Diss Iggy Azalea and Miley Cyrus

2015 MTV Video Music Awards - Pepsi Stage - Fixed Show
Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images for MTV

Fans and critics are still discussing Macklemore‘s controversial track “White Privilege II,” and the Seattle rapper born Ben Haggerty clarified some of the song’s lyrical references during an interview with Sway In the Morning. He name-drops other white artists famous for appropriation–namely Elvis Presley, Iggy Azalea and Miley Cyrus–but he says he was never trying to disrespect anyone.

“That whole verse is me implicating myself,” Macklemore told Sway this week.

“I think a lot of people have misinterpreted it. So it says, ‘Ben, think about it: 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.'”

“We’re all in the same place. We’re all in the same sphere,” he added. “We are white artists that in the last couple years have been rightfully critiqued as appropriating black culture and benefiting from it.”

Macklemore recalled his emotions during a night of protests following the announcement that officer Darren Wilson wouldn’t be indicted for killing Mike Brown in 2014.

“Feeling that frustration, feeling that this is happening again and I can’t believe it,” he remembered.

“It was important for me in this song to come from a real place I think that if I just got on the microphone and started talking about white privilege like, ‘Yo I’ve read this book and that book and I know what’s up, I’ve had these conversations,’ that’s not inviting. I need to come to that conversation how I felt, which was hearing black lives matter chanted for the first time and not knowing that that was okay for me to say.”

Check out some of Macklemore’s interview from “Sway In the Morning” BELOW:

12 Notable Rap Lyrics Aimed At Politicians

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