Iggy Azalea Responded To Macklemore’s “White Privilege II” And Talib Kweli’s Not Having It

Well this may be the first instance of the pot calling the kettle white. Macklemore and Iggy Azalea, two masters of appropriation, may have a bit of beef developing. Iggy Azalea felt some type of way about Macklemore’s new song, “White Privilege II,” and sought some sweet 140-character vengeance, but the song is not about her at all; it is a nearly nine-minute racial-injustice anthem that addresses issues bigger than both artists.

Hip-hop purist Talib Kweli weighed in with a couple tweets of his own, aiming at what he thought was an example of Azalea’s white privilege in thinking the song was about her.

At the root of the problem, both Iggy and Macklemore both know they have no business doing what they’re doing. While Azalea has been defensive, Macklemore paints himself as an ally, but ultimately he is capitalizing off of issues he should not be speaking on. He opens “White Privilege II,” a sequel to “White Privilege” off of his 2005 mixtape The Language OF My World, with the lines:

In my head like, “Is this awkward, should I even be here marching?/ Thinking if they can’t, how can I breathe?/ Thinking that they chant, what do I sing?/ I want to take a stance ’cause we are not free/ And then I thought about it, we are not we/ Am I in the outside looking in, or am I in the inside looking out?

He should have heeded all of the doubt and apprehension shrouding those opening bars and not went into the booth for this one. Enough with the faux social consciousness already. After already advocating for gay rights and a less homophobic hip-hop community on “Same Love,” and then co-opting Grandmaster Caz, Melle Mel, and Kool Moe Dee’s OG status on “Downtown,” Macklemore ignored the better side of his conscience and came with a sequel for a song that should have never been written in the first place.

“White Privilege II” is merely a display of the very white privilege Macklemore is looking to indict in others. Using multiple generations of black sonics in an audacious appropriation to champion Black Lives Matter is simply not the way to be an ally. Macklemore clearly has good intentions, but Black Lives Matter chose their anthem already in Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright.” There is a wave of conscious black artists that are doing a much better job of fighting the good fight. A song like this undermines that movement. It may bring the fight to a new audience, but it is not his place to speak on issues as grave as police violence and brutality and capitalize off of the millions of YouTube views and purchases from fans who most likely rarely interact with black people. Making “safe” hip-hop for people to listen to and feel good about themselves for purchasing because it’s half-assed addressing real issues is simply not a way to aid in this fight. Granted, Macklemore acknowledges all of this, but well-packed recognition for the masses isn’t true aid or enlightenment. The song is just a very cleverly disguised weapon of mass appeal. Check out the nine minutes of feigned introspection for yourself below, or don’t.