Update: Hip-hop artist Talib Kweli has waded into the beef, tweeting:
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis debut new track, "White Privilege II."
In a powerful new social justice anthem, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis have taken aim at Iggy Azalea, Miley Cyrus and Elvis Presley (!!) for appropriating black culture, whilst reflecting on the nature of movements like Black Lives Matter.
It's a powerful and rousing song, which, whilst a little self-important, is sure to bring more attention to racism and the concept of white privilege in general. It may be a dangerous game, however, to call out other white rappers for cultural appropriation whilst you are, y'know, a white rapper. The lyric reads:
"You’ve exploited and stolen the music, the moment
The magic, the passion, the fashion you toyed with
The culture was never yours to make better
You’re Miley, you’re Elvis, you’re Iggy Azalea"
We agree with the point in principal, but the audacity of calling out the King of Rock and Roll is not lost on us.
Of course Iggy Azalea wasted no time in taking to Twitter to air her own feelings on the matter, posting an uncharacteristically restrained:
@lggysBae he shouldnt have spent the last 3 yrs having friendly convos and taking pictures together at events etc if those were his feelings
— IGGY AZALEA (@IGGYAZALEA) January 22, 2016
The debate around cultural appropriation rages on and artists are going to have to accept that it's a consideration they need to make when cultivating their public images.
This is the second time Macklemore has taken to song to talk about white privilege. Check out this cut from 2011, exploring similar themes: