“White Privilege II” says: “We take all we want from black culture, but will we show up for black lives?”
Macklemore and producer-partner Ryan Lewis say in a new song released Friday that Americans take from African-American culture, and need to take a stand for #BlackLivesMatter.
“My success is a product of the same system that let off Darren Wilson/Guilty,” Macklemore raps. “We want to dress like, walk like, talk like, dance like/Yet we just stand by/We take all we want from black culture/But will we show up for black lives?”
The Grammy winner also addresses his own success and that of other white artists who have borrowed heavily from black artists, including Elvis Presley, Iggy Azalea, and Miley Cyrus.
The track clocks in an 8 minutes and 42-seconds, and is “the outcome of an ongoing dialogue with musicians, activists, and teachers within our community in Seattle and beyond,” the duo wrote on a website created just for their musical call-to-action.
They said in a statement:
As a company (Macklemore & Ryan Lewis LLC), we are committed to a long-term investment of our time, resources, finances and creative capacities towards supporting black-led organizing and anti-racist education & discourse.
In dialogue with our community partners and advisers, we will continue to find ways in which we can leverage our platform and network towards strengthening the work of organizers and initiatives framed by genuine racial and social equity. We recognize that there are no easy answers, any one piece of legislation, or quick fix to undo institutional racism in our country. We wish to support direct organizing and be led by the expertise and experience of those on the front lines as we proceed.
Along with Ryan Lewis, the massive number musicians getting credit on the track include Tyler “XP” Andrews, Darian Asplund, DeShe’ Brooks, Gena Brooks, Tanisha Brooks, Liza Curtiss, Evan Flory-Barnes, Ben Haggerty, Josephine Howell, Josh “Budo” Karp, Russell Leonce, D’Vonne Lewis, Ahamefule J. Oluo, Josh Rawlings, Malaelupe Samifua, Maelu Strange, Symbolyc One and Grey, Sam Townsend, Hollis Wong-Wear, and Jamila Woods.
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis say people who played a further role in its creation were Ron Chisom, Jonathan Cunningham, Tricia Davis, Josh Dick, Martin Friedman, Jackie Ganger, Amir Islam, Jason Koenig, Tim Lennon, Aaron Walker-Loud, Nikkita Oliver, James Peterson, Kevin Powell, Zach Quillen, Peter Richards, Dr. Kimberley Richards, Georgia Roberts, Ben Secord, Gabriel Teodros, and Dustin Washington.
You can hear the song above.