With the discussion surrounding Macklemore and Ryan Lewis' latest song, "White Privilege II," not coming to an end anytime soon, the Seattle duo recently spoke with Rolling Stone about the reception of the track, and much more.
The lengthy interview served as an opportunity for Macklemore to further explain his thought process behind the song and how it came to be. From the minute the song dropped, there were critiques from all angles, but Macklemore said that was something he saw coming. "It wasn't, like, 'How can we beat the critics to the punch? How can we exempt ourselves from this angle, and this angle, and this angle,'" he said. "You realize that you're not going to beat it and you never could. And then it keeps coming back to: It's not about me."
He also clarified the inclusion of Iggy Azalea and Miley Cyrus' names in the lyrics, and said that there was no intention to diss either artist. "For me, that second verse is unpacking," Macklemore said. "It's an unpacking moment of internalized criticism and self-doubt, and 'What have I done,' and letting the criticism infiltrate who I am. 'Why am I insecure at a protest?' And I think that people get put into boxes, and the conversation around cultural appropriation – I was at the forefront of that, rightfully so. And that conversation also included Miley Cyrus and Iggy Azalea, and that's why their names are on the record." Iggy responded to the song shortly after it dropped, and wasn't too pleased with her inclusion on the track. "He shouldn't have spent the past three years having friendly convos and taking pictures together at events if those were his feelings," she tweeted.
Interestingly enough, Macklemore said it was a hip-hop legend—who he refused to name in the interview—that reached out to him and actually encouraged him to speak out on a song in the first place. "It was a defining moment," he said. "'Silence is an action' was a perfect representation of where I had been. So it was like, I can continue to be safe, and to rest in my privilege, and to not speak up, and the system perpetuates itself – or I can try to engage in the conversation, knowing that I don't have all the answers, knowing that I have so much to learn."