Macklemore Says He Should Have Warned Iggy Azalea About Her Name-Drop on "White Privilege II"
The song appeared on Macklemore's new album, 'This Unruly Mess I've Made.'
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Now that Macklemore and Ryan Lewis' new album, This Unruly Mess I've Made, is finally out, the Seattle rap duo is ramping up press for the project. And while they did a lot of interviews when "White Privilege II" came out, Macklemore is still talking about the song and its meaning. Notably, in a new interview with Billboard, Macklemore came out and said that he regrets the way everything happened with Iggy Azalea after the song was released. "Iggy and I came up together. We were on the XXL ‘Freshman’ cover together," he said. "There’s enough of a relationship that I should have let her know beforehand. And I didn’t do that."
On the song, Macklemore raps about his own appropriation of black music, but also name-drops Iggy, Miley Cyrus, and Elvis in the process, which Iggy didn't appreciate. Shortly after the song came out, she tweeted about the line and said that he shouldn't have been friendly with her for the past three years if he felt that way. In the same interview with Billboard, Macklemore confirmed that he hasn't talked to Iggy since the song came out.
Macklemore also reflects on that time he texted Kendrick Lamar and then posted the text to Instagram. If you don't remember, Macklemore texted Kendrick "You got robbed" after The Heist beat out good kid, m.A.A.d city for Best Rap Album at the 2014 Grammy Awards. Macklemore says the incident made him less comfortable sharing his feelings in public. “When you mess up publicly, it can be difficult to get vulnerable again or to put yourself out there. You’re like, ‘Whatever I say in the media, they’re going to take it [a certain] way”—it becomes about another artist, and the intention is never received in the way it was intended.”
The public scrutiny for that Kendrick text made Macklemore nervous to open up again. so he asked a respected older rapper—who he chooses not to name—for some advice. “He told me that silence is action, and you are being silent right now. That was a big turning point for me.” That is when Macklemore and Ryan Lewis decided they wanted to gain an education on the subject of race and attended three hour, weekly classes with Lewis's thesis advisor at the University of Washington for six months. They learned about W.E.B. Du Bois, James Baldwin, bell hooks, and many others. It's this education that made them confident to be vocal about social topics on their latest album. You can read the full interview here, and purchase their album on iTunes now.