Macklemore on Hip-Hop and Cultural Appropriation: I Need to Know My Place

The 'Thrift Shop' hitmaker also talks about his experience as a white rapper and the controversial apology to Kendrick Lamar following his win at 2014 Grammys in a radio interview.

AceShowbiz - %cMacklemore% weighed in on the ongoing debate about hip-hop and race. The "Thrift Shop" hitmaker voiced his opinion on appropriation of black culture and the privileges he got as a white rapper in an interview with New York City's radio station Hot 97's "Ebro in the Morning".

Hot 97 is the same radio station that hosted an interview where %cAzealia Banks% emotionally talked about racism in today's music industry and blasted white rappers like Macklemore and %cIggy Azalea% a few weeks ago.

Responding to Banks' statements about white people in black culture, Macklemore said, "There's a lot of truth in [Banks'] interview." He continued, "You need to know your place in the culture. Are you contributing or are you taking? Are you using it for your own advantage or are you contributing?"

"I saw a tweet that said, 'Hip hop was birthed out of the civil rights movement.' This is a culture that came from pain and oppression. It was the byproduct [of white oppression]," he explained. "Just because there's been more successful white rappers, you cannot disregard where this culture came from and our place in it as white people."

Macklemore then said that it's important for white people like him and Azalea to know where their places in the black culture. "I learned from [%cQ-Tip%'s] Twitter. That's a OG breaking down truth. Again I'm not getting into how [Azalea] responded, I'm just saying it's important to listen and to be humble," he said, referring to a recent hip-hop history lesson given by Q-Tip to Azalea following her Twitter feud with Banks. "This is not my culture to begin with. This is not a culture that white people started. So I do believe, as much as I have honed my craft, as much as I have put in years of dedication into the music that I love, I do believe that I need to know my place, and that comes from me listening."

Macklemore also talked about the special treatments he received because of his status as a white rapper. "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,' " he said. "If I was black, what would my drug addiction look like? 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."

Elsewhere, he admitted that Instagramming his apology to %cKendrick Lamar% after he and partner %cRyan Lewis% won the Best Rap Album at the Grammys earlier this year was a mistake. "I wanted to win some Grammys...I think we made a great album. I think it had great impact.... But I thought Kendrick had a better album," he stated.

"The mistake came from Instagramming the text message and betraying my homie's trust. That's wack...The language that I used was a bad call. 'Robbed' was a bad choice of word. White people have been robbing black people for a long time. Of culture. Of music. Of freedom. Of their lives. That was a mistake," he added.

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