Macklemore was braced for White Privilege II criticism

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 13 May 2016
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

Macklemore insists he and his musical partner Ryan Lewis were expecting to get a lot of criticism for their song 'White Privilege II' - which deals with racism in the US

Macklemore was prepared for the criticism he received when he released 'White Privilege II' - but insists it was worth it to get his message out.

The rapper - whose real name is Ben Haggerty - and his musical partner Ryan Lewis brought out that track in January and the lyrics deal with institutionalised racism in America and the social movement Black Lives Matter, which began after several African/American teenagers were shot dead by cops.

The song was the precursor to the duo's second album 'This Unruly Mess I've Made' and Macklemore has no regrets about using his art to tackle an important political issue.

In an interview with The Guardian newspaper, he said: "All art should be open for critique. And particularly a song that is attempting to take on as many issues as 'White Privilege II' does. What 'White Privilege II' should be doing is getting people to have a conversation ... If you can get 10 of those 10,000 kids to talk about race after the show or talk about that moment, I'd say that's better than not putting the song out in the first place."

Macklemore, 32, thinks it is his and 28-year-old Lewis' responsibility to use their fame and pop star positions to tackle bigger issues and he doesn't think enough of their peers doing the same as them.

He mused: "Look, putting a song about race five weeks before your album comes out, as kind of the only thing you're putting out ... that's not advantageous in terms of generating a radio song. Again, that's not some martyr s**t, it's more just like what are we trying to be right now. Are we trying to be pop stars? Because I think we can do that version. Or are we trying to actually say something?

"I'm not here to defend or brag about what I do but what we've made an effort to do is not only share the proceeds from the song, and not only our initial backing of certain black-led organisations, but a continued engagement and financial support that doesn't need to be a public thing."

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