Sooooo…Macklemore dropped a new track on Google Play for free. As I was checking this out via Smoking Section, I found a tweet that said…
Dear @macklemore: fuck off. Nobody needs your hot takes on anything, ever.
— GO'M-2187 (@haloinahaystack) January 22, 2016
When I read this tweet, I started thinking about all the times Macklemore tried to be honest and inclusive, only to have it blow up in his face. When “Thrift Shop” was released (which was not only about shopping at thrift stores, but about fiscal responsibility and not having the urge to ball on clothes they won’t wear a week or two later), it became wildly popular, only to have people call him a corny rapper after. When he dropped “Same Love”, LGBT rapper Le1f came at him with a battle axe. When he won a Grammy and acknowledged Kendrick Lamar’s genius, Drake came after him. I wonder how many people scoffed at him when he acknowledged the death of Trayvon Martin. Not to mention, a certain certified space case/eternal bratty teenager trying to demean all white rappers because she was unable to make the ranks amongst the rappers she lumped in.
When I heard The Heist, I heard a rapper who tried to be honest with his words, and even if it wasn’t exactly groundbreaking, it felt like you could hang with him if you wanted to. Before that, he has already rapped about being white and the fact that he benefits from this. But do you also know who did that? Eminem. The only people who hate him so far are the people he may have insulted via recordings (gay people, the Government, women).
I assume that anyone who listens to Eminem still owns The Eminem Show, and if you do, you heard the second verse of “White America”
“Look at these eyes, baby blue, baby just like yourself
If they were brown Shady’d lose, Shady sits on the shelf
But Shady’s cute, Shady knew Shady’s dimples would help
Make ladies swoon baby (ooh baby!) Look at my sales
Let’s do the math: if I was black, I woulda sold half
I ain’t have to graduate from Lincoln High School to know that”
Even Beastie Boys referenced multiple times that they were white AND Jewish AND came from a punk rock background. So, why is Macklemore gaining pitchforks after acknowledging his color…twice?
On “White Privilege II”, Macklemore swung the focus from him being a white rapper to a white person who feels the anxiety in trying to back up the #BlackLivesMatter movement and benefiting from his success. He acknowledges what he should all have known by now. If he succeeds from music because he is white, it’ll mostly be from people who know VERY little about hip-hop or listen to him because he is white…and probably not Eminem. In this track, he clearly has no fear in confronting the ignorance of his own people. Nobody who truly cares about any of this would record this song with ease.
Somewhere, people all around will scoff at this, and at this point, it may be a natural feeling. Scoff at him for being one of the first to say IN RECORDING that he supports LGBT rights while working with a gay musicmaker. Scoff at him for making a hit song, in which the multitude of people ONLY really remember the chorus. Scoff at him for acknowledging his privilege everytime you interview him. Hell, scoff at him for not really going nuts like other white people for being confronted by that privilege from non-blacks. Scoff at him because he decided to make a new song with older black rappers and you didn’t. Hate on Macklemore just for being Macklemore, but while you do that, realize the following: at the end of the day, the reason why you hate Macklemore really has nothing to do with Macklemore. Case closed.
P.S. Isn’t it ironic that the majority of white musicians from Elvis to the Rolling Stones TO Eminem acknowledged openly that they were inspired by black musicians to do what they do, yet people act like white people are only inspired by their own sector? If they make music and white people are more drawn to that than the people who made it, once again, it is NOT the fault of the artist. People are just that ignorant on their own.
Off my soapbox now.
Your 76th favorite black Aspergian musical polymath (Singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, blogger, producer, poet) from Boston.