Black Lives Matter activist DeRay McKesson had an hour-long conversation with Seattle rapper Macklemore about his polarizing new song, “White Privilege II,” according to tweets McKesson posted Saturday morning.

McKesson said the conversation helped him understand Macklemore's intentions better, and the rapper acknowledged that awareness is only the first step in effecting change:

In the track, a collaboration with his music partner Ryan Lewis and Jamila Woods, Macklemore addresses #BlackLivesMatter, racialized police brutality, and cultural appropriation. The nine-minute song received a mixed response upon its release, with some people expressing disappointment in the song for being an expression of white guilt.

But Macklemore sees it as an opportunity to start a dialogue.

“This song is the outcome of an ongoing dialogue with musicians, activists and teachers within our community in Seattle and beyond,” the Grammy award-winning rapper wrote in a statement. “Their work and engagement was essential to the creative process.”

More information about the collaborators and the objective of the song can be found at