Macklemore spoke to Rolling Stone after dropping his controversial race-related track, “White Privilege II,” and explained his reasoning behind calling out Iggy Azalea and Miley Cyrus for their use of cultural appropriation. Although we haven’t heard anything from Miley about the shout-out, Iggy Iggs has been extremely vocal. However, the Seattle musician said that the line in question wasn’t meant to cause any harm.
“For me, that second verse is unpacking,” he explained. “It’s an unpacking moment of internalized criticism and self-doubt, and ‘What have I done,’ and letting the criticism infiltrate who I am. ‘Why am I insecure at a protest?’ And I think that people get put into boxes, and the conversation around cultural appropriation — I was at the forefront of that, rightfully so. And that conversation also included Miley Cyrus and Iggy Azalea, and that’s why their names are on the record.”
“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”
Macklemore is holding himself and the other artists mentioned accountable for profiting off of things typically found in black culture. He also says that he is ready to accept the inevitable criticism from listeners upon the song’s release. The track is a sequel to his 2005 song “White Privilege” off of his album, The Language of the World.
“So if I’m put on blast, critiqued, broken down, questioned — all those things will happen, and they are completely valid,” he noted. “That’s part of the design of the conversation. If there’s a bigger teachable moment through this record, at the expense of me potentially being like, ‘Oh, I should have said this,’ or ‘I shouldn’t have said this,’ or ‘I see where that criticism is coming from,’ that’s OK.”