Track Review: White Privilege II

11 years later, Macklemore has released the sequel to ‘White Privilege’: ‘White Privilege II’. Featuring Ryan Lewis’s sleek production, ‘White Privilege II’ is mature and complex, with Macklemore tackling the relevant and controversial issues of racism and cultural appropriation. These issues are extremely relevant today (perhaps more so than in 2005 when ‘White Privilege’ was released) given the recent Black Lives Matter movement, and the current issues surrounding racism and police brutality in America.

Macklemore is painfully aware of his own privilege, admitting he could “book a whole tour and sell out tickets”. However, despite being aware of this privilege, he seems to be unsure of how to respond to it. He constantly asks “Is this about you, well, then what’s your intention?/What’s the intention?” To be honest, this is not surprising, considering that the issues are so deeply embedded in modern society.

It is no surprise that Macklemore is experiencing backlash for exploring such a controversial topic. His lyrics “You’re Miley, you’re Elvis, you’re Iggy Azalea/ Fake and so plastic, you’ve heisted the magic” in which he name-drops celebrities he has been compared to, has been interpreted as criticism. In response Iggy Azalea took to Twitter.

 

The irony being that Iggy’s refusal or at least her ignorance highlights the very issue that Macklemore was raising in the first place. The tweet caused Iggy to trend worldwide and since she has backtracked a bit.

 

‘White Privilege II’ has been critiqued as a step in the right direction, so it will be interesting to see if Macklemore & Ryan Lewis continue to act on the issue.