Watch: Macklemore Talks White Privilege, Cultural Appropriation & More on ‘Ebro’
Take a look at a few of the excerpts from his sit-down below, and watch the full hour long session above.
On White privilege:
“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 labeled 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? If I was black, what would my drug addiction look like? It would be twisted into something else, versus maybe like, ‘get back on your feet!’.. To me, the music industry… the privilege that exists in the music industry is just a greater symptom of the privilege that exists in America. So, there’s no difference, this is just a byproduct, this is just a little off-brand of what’s happening in America, people see me, they resonate with me, America’s predominantly white, there’s relatability, and it took a long time to get to a point where I was noticed AT ALL, I was an underground rapper for over a decade, but when it finally did.. once we got that viral video, once we built up enough momentum organically, you know, through word of mouth, through the underground, once we finally got that viral video, it HIT. And people were like ‘oh we love this!’ and all of a sudden I’m… I’m like, I’m put in this box of like the ‘anti-bling rapper’ or the ‘Same Love guy’ who’s all for equality, like ‘this is the first time we’ve ever heard any rapper talk about equality!!!’ Like ‘WOW he’s a HERO’, you know, I got put in that ‘hero’ box. And I think that when that happens, it’s because of privilege. It all boils down to privilege. WHITE privilege, is what I’m talking about.”
On Azealia Banks and Iggys Azalea’s beef:
“There’s a lot of truth in [Banks’] interview. I saw a Tweet, it was something along the lines of ‘Hip-Hop was birthed out of the Civil Rights Movement.’ This is a culture that came from pain, it came from oppression, it came from white oppression… you cannot disregard where this culture came from and our place in it as white people.”
On what he learned from reading Q-Tip’s tweets:
“That’s a OG breaking down truth. Again I’m not getting into how [Iggy] responded, I’m just saying it’s important to listen and to be humble… this is not my culture to begin with. This is not a culture that white people started. So I do believe, as much as I have honed my craft, as much as I have put in years of dedication into the music that I love, I do believe that I need to know my place, and that comes from me listening.”
On his friendship with Kendrick Lamar:
“First and foremost, the mistake came from Instagramming the text message and betraying my homie’s trust… I betrayed Kendrick’s trust. The language that I used was a bad call. ‘Robbed’ was a bad choice of a word — white people have been robbing black people for a long time.