Macklemore Discusses White Privilege, 2015 Grammys in Hot 97 Interview [VIDEO]
Race, cultural appropriation and privilege are hot on the minds of hip-hop fans and artists as of late. While many critics have blasted Iggy Azalea for her absence from the discussion, another prominent white rapper, Macklemore, is taking the issue head-on in a new interview with Hot 97.
In the sit-down, Macklemore openly accepts that he is given preferential treatment compared to his black counterparts. "Why am I safe? Why can I cuss on a record, have a parental advisory sticker on the cover of my album, yet parents are still like, 'You're the only rap I let my kids listen to'? Why can I wear a hoodie and not be labelled a thug? Why can I sag my pants and not be a gangbanger? Why am I on Ellen's couch? Why am I on Good Morning America?" he asks.
"If I was black, what would my drug addiction look like?...To me, the privilege that exists in the music industry is just a greater symptom of the privilege that exists in America... It all boils down to privilege."
The Seattle, Wash. native goes on to say that he needs to be a part of the racial conversation, unlike artists who opt to bow out. "As a white dude, as a white rapper, I'm like, how do I participate in this conversation? How do I get involved on a level where I'm not co-opting the movement, where I'm not making it about me, but also realizing the platform that I have and the reach that I have? And doing it in an authentic, genuine way?"
The rapper, who was seen protesting the no indictment decision for the police officer who shot Mike Brown earlier this year, wants his voice to be heard on this major issue. "It's my privilege that I can be silent about this issue. And I'm tired of being silent about it... It is so imperative right now that we have this race conversation in America if we're going to progress."
The 'Thrift Shop' creator was a big part of the conversation at the Grammys earlier this year, not necessarily by choice. Macklemore beat artists like Kendrick Lamar in the Best Rap Album category for his 'The Heist' LP, which sparked outrage amongst rap fans who felt the latter was more deserving. The world found out he thought Kendrick "got robbed" when he posted a text message apologizing for taking home the win. “I made a mistake,” Macklemore acknowledges, looking back on his actions. “A lot of fear was going into that moment.”
When it comes to the 2015 Grammy nominees, Azalea (‘The New Classic’), Childish Gambino (‘Because the Internet’), Common (‘Nobody’s Smiling’), ScHoolboy Q (‘Oxymoron’), Eminem (‘The Marshall Mathers LP 2') and Wiz Khalifa (‘Blacc Hollywood’) compete. One contender already has Macklemore's vote. “I would love to see [ScHoolboy Q] win,” he says. “Q is one of my best friends in this industry. I’m gonna be biased.”
Take a look at Macklemore's insightful interview above.
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