Macklemore sat down for wide-ranging, hour-long interview with New York radio station Hot 97 Monday morning.
The Grammy winning half of the duo Macklemore and Ryan Lewis opened up in his interview about race in America, the backlash from his chart-topping hit “Thrift Shop” and white privilege.
“You need to know your place in the culture,” says the rapper. “This is not my culture to begin with. As much as I have honed my craft, I do believe that I need to know my place”
“White people can turn off the TV when we’re sick of talking about race. White, liberal people want to be nice. We don’t want to be racist. We want to be, ‘Oh we’re post-racial. We don’t want to talk about white privilege and it’s all good, right?’ It’s not the case,” Macklemore said. “We have to get past that awkward stage of the race conversation. As a white person, we have to listen.”
He continued discussing how white privilege has played a major determining factor in his success in the music industry.
“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.’…If I was black, what would my drug addiction look like? It would be twisted into something else versus maybe, “Get back on your feet!” The privilege that exists in the music industry is just a greater symptom of the privilege that exists in America. There’s no difference…I got put in that ‘hero’ box and I think that when that happens, it’s because of white privilege.”
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