Macklemore Acknowledges White Privilege Led to His Success & Talks Cultural Appropriation

Photo Credit: Instagram
Photo Credit: Instagram

By: Amanda Anderson-Niles

While Iggy Azalea denies white privilege played a role in her quick success in Hip Hop, Grammy winner Macklemore is admitting its role in his advancement in the music business.

The rapper recently had a sit down interview with Hot 97 and it was pretty raw.

Here are the highlights.

On racism, he says:

“Race is uncomfortable to talk about. White people – we can just turn off the TV when we’re sick of talking about race. We can be like, ‘Oh, I’m done.’ It does not work that way for everybody, but that’s what we can do.

“The thing for me is ‘white liberal people’ want to be nice. We don’t want to mess up. We don’t want to be racist. We want to be like, ‘We’re post racial. We have a Black president. We don’t need to talk about white privilege. It’s all good. Right?’ That’s not the case…

“It is my privilege that I can be silent about this issue, and I’m tired of being silent about it… It is so imperative right now that we have this race conversation in America, if we’re going to progress, if we’re going to move past this.”

He also claims he felt Azealia Banks has been speaking the truth regarding cultural appropriation in music.

On white artists using cultural appropriation to get ahead, he says:

“You need to know your place in the culture. Are you contributing? Or are you taking? Are you using it for your own advantage? Or are you contributing to the culture. And that’s subjective. But I think it’s clear who has contributed, and clear who is taking.

“I’m not going to comment on Iggy in that regard. I’m not going to do that, but what I will say is that I saw a tweet on the lines of “Hip Hop was birthed out of the Civil Rights Movement.” This is a culture that came from pain, that came from oppression, that came from White oppression. It was the bi-product of that.

“We can say we’ve evolved, that we’ve come along way since the late 70’s/early 80’s, but we haven’t. So you can’t disregard that. Just because there has been more successful White rappers, you cannot disregard where this culture came from and our place in it as White people.”


He also once again confirms that he feels he robbed Kendrick Lamar of his Grammy and he knows it went down that way because of his race.

Check out the video below:


  1. I don’t like how he did Kendrick. Posting that text message on Instagram made me feel like he’s not a very honest person. But at least he continues to admit it’s white privilege making him successful. Iggy will never do that.

  2. Hmmmm! I’m unsure how I feel about this. His acknowledgment is wonderful, but I always feel there’s an ulterior motive when some white folks go so far left.

  3. Kendrick should have won no doubts about that I think he handled the text message all wrong but I like Macklemore. I like his music and I appreciate his honesty.

  4. I honestly don’t care if he meant it or not. It needed to be said and it needed to come from someone who isn’t Black. It’s sad, but the truth hurts. People like Azealia Banks who repeatedly tweet about pertinent issues eventually go unnoticed and unheard by the masses. Change doesn’t truly happen until issues matter to those who AREN’T directly effected. And he didn’t need to speak on Iggy. It’s painfully obvious that nothing she’s done has CONTRIBUTED TO hip hop or our culture.

  5. Now imagine if more white artists admitted this. I don’t have a problem with Macklemore because he had the courage to admit Kendrick deserved that Grammy and he’s not acting like a self entitled brat like Iggy. Iggy actually had the nerve to say many black artists are doing just fine and we all know that’s not the truth. She refuses to admit how her race is helping her.

    1. check out Billboard’s archive list. You can start from 1999 if you like. Check “Airplay” for hip hop songs. As well as Hot rap songs. You can go through to today. Last thread ended and I couldn’t leave this reply to you. Important to my point of what audience was listening on mainstream radio for hip hop. Since you called me a hypocrite and all that. My last reply to you. peace

      1. And a week later, you’re still salty I called you out because you had no real argument. Congratulations, not only are you a hypocrite and completely wrong, but you’re also a terrible debater. Do better in 2015. And I’m sure you’ll reply to this too. You can’t help yourself.

        Ps. Macklemore ethered your entire argument. I mean how does it feel to hear a white artist say everything I said to you on the last post? Time to head back to the drawing board.

    2. Even after that “slave master” lyric I think when she referred to Q-tip as “…some stranger on the internet…” is when I knew that b-tch really and truly gave no f-cks about Hip Hop, it’s history, our legends, or our culture.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Discover more from Urban Belle Magazine

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading