Macklemore‘s success has been accredited to his status as a family friendly white male rapper since his The Heist singles, “Thrift Shop” and “Same Love,” blew up in 2013. The animosity many raps fans felt towards the Seattle native only heightened when he defeated fan-favorite Kendrick Lamar several times at the ensuing Grammy Awards, then Instagram’d his message to the Compton emcee–“Sorry I robbed you”–in an ill-advised set of social media maneuvers.
This time around, as he prepares his new album, This Unruly Mess I’ve Made, Macklemore appears to be ready to tackle the focal points of the conversations of race and status that have dominated his ascent to pop star. On his newest single, “White Privilege II,” Macklemore expresses the inner conflicts that surface when he instinctively wants to support #BlackLivesMatter or other causes that support injustice against persons of color, and disses Iggy Azalea in the process, mentioning that she “stole” the very sound and accent that helped make her famous from black people. He does it all over a brooding, reluctant bass line and a church choir-like backdrop from Jamila Woods.
Listen here, and let us know your thoughts on Twitter.