27th Jan2016

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis “White Privilege II” #Download #Interview

by Street History



Official Website


“White Privilege II”
(with Ryan Lewis)

Pulled into the parking lot, parked it
Zipped up my parka, joined the procession of marchers
In my head like, “Is this awkward, should I even be here marching?”
Thinking if they can’t, how can I breathe?
Thinking that they chant, what do I sing?
I want to take a stance cause we are not free
And then I thought about it, we are not we
Am I in the outside looking in, or am I in the inside looking out?
Is it my place to give my two cents
Or should I stand on the side and shut my mouth for justice? No peace
Okay, I’m saying that they’re chanting out, “Black lives matter”, but I don’t say it back
Is it okay for me to say? I don’t know, so I watch and stand
In front of a line of police that look the same as me
Only separated by a badge, a baton, a can of Mace, a mask
A shield, a gun with gloves and hands that gives an alibi
In case somebody dies behind a bullet that flies out of the 9
Takes another child’s life on sight

Blood in the streets, no justice, no peace
No racist beliefs, no rest ’til we’re free
There’s blood in the streets, no justice, no peace
No racist beliefs, no rest ’til we’re free

Blood in the streets, no justice, no peace
No racist beliefs, no rest ’til we’re free
There’s blood in the streets, no justice, no peace
No racist beliefs, no rest ’til we’re free
(Ben, think about it)

You’ve exploited and stolen the music, the moment
The magic, the passion, the fashion, you toy with
The culture was never yours to make better
You’re Miley, you’re Elvis, you’re Iggy Azalea
Fake and so plastic, you’ve heisted the magic
You’ve taken the drums and the accent you rapped in
You’re branded “hip-hop”, it’s so fascist and backwards
That Grandmaster Flash’d go slap it, you bastard
All the money that you made
All the watered down pop bullshit version of the culture, pal
Go buy a big-ass lawn, go with your big-ass house
Get a big-ass fence, keep people out
It’s all stubborn, anyway, can’t you see that now?
There’s no way for you to even that out
You can join the march, protest, scream and shout
Get on Twitter, hashtag and seem like you’re down
But they see through it all, people believe you now
You said publicly, “Rest in peace, Mike Brown”
You speak about equality, but do you really mean it?
Are you marching for freedom, or when it’s convenient?
Want people to like you, want to be accepted
That’s probably why you are out here protesting
Don’t think for a second you don’t have incentive
Is this about you, well, then what’s your intention?
What’s the intention? What’s the intention?

Psst, I totally get it, you’re by yourself
And the last thing you want to do is take a picture
But seriously, my little girl loves you
She’s always singing, “I’m gonna pop some tags”
I’m not kidding, my oldest, you even got him to go thrifting
And “One Love”, oh, my God, that song – brilliant
Their aunt is gay, when that song came out
My son told his whole class he was actually proud
That’s so cool, look what you’re accomplishing
Even an old mom like me likes it cause it’s positive
You’re the only hip-hop that I let my kids listen to
Cause you get it, all that negative stuff isn’t cool
Yeah, like all the guns and the drugs
The bitches and the hoes and the gangs and the thugs
Even the protest outside – so sad and so dumb
If a cop pulls you over, it’s your fault if you run

So, they feel that the police are discriminating against the, the black people?
I have an advantage? Why? Cause I’m white? What? Haha. No. People nowadays are just pussies.
Like, this is the generation to be offended by everything.
Black Lives Matter thing is a reason to take arms up over perceived slights.
I’m not prejudiced, I just–. 99% of the time across this country, the police are doing their job properly

Damn, a lot of opinions, a lot of confusion, a lot of resentment
Some of us scared, some of us defensive
And most of us aren’t even paying attention
It seems like we’re more concerned with being called racist
Than we actually are with racism
I’ve heard that silences are action and God knows that I’ve been passive
What if I actually read a article, actually had a dialogue
Actually looked at myself, actually got involved?
If I’m aware of my privilege and do nothing at all, I don’t know
Hip-hop has always been political, yes
It’s the reason why this music connects
So what the fuck has happened to my voice if I stay silent when black people are dying
Then I’m trying to be politically correct?
I can book a whole tour, sell out the tickets
Rap entrepreneur, built his own business
If I’m only in this for my own self-interest, not the culture that gave me a voice to begin with
Then this isn’t authentic, it is just a gimmick
The DIY underdog, so independent
But the one thing the American dream fails to mention
Is I was many steps ahead to begin with
My skin matches the hero, likeness, the image
America feels safe with my music in their systems
And it’s suited me perfect, the role, I’ve fulfilled it
And if I’m the hero, you know who gets cast as the villain
White supremacy isn’t just a white dude in Idaho
White supremacy protects the privilege I hold
White supremacy is the soil, the foundation, the cement and the flag that flies outside of my home
White supremacy is our country’s lineage, designed for us to be indifferent
My success is the product of the same system that let off Darren Wilson guilty
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?
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?

Black Lives Matter, to use an analogy, is like if there was a subdivision and a house was on fire.
The fire department wouldn’t show up and start putting water on all the houses because all houses matter.
They would show up and they would turn their water on the house that is burning
because that’s the house that needs it the most.
My generation’s taken on the torch of a very age-old fight for black liberation,
but also liberation for everyone, and injustice anywhere is still injustice everywhere.
The best thing white people can do is talk to each other.
And having those very difficult, very painful conversations with your parents, with your family members.
I think one of the critical questions for white people in this society is what are you willing to risk,
what are you willing to sacrifice to create a more just society?

[Jamila Woods:]
Your silence is a luxury, hip-hop is not a luxury
Your silence is a luxury, hip-hop is not a luxury
Your silence is a luxury, hip-hop is not a luxury
Your silence is a luxury, hip-hop is not a luxury
What I got for me, it is for me
Why we may, we may to set us free
What I got for me, it is for me
Why we may, we may to set us free
What I got for me, it is for me
Why we may, we may to set us free
This song is the outcome of an ongoing dialogue with musicians, activists, and teachers within our community in Seattle and beyond. Their work and engagement was essential to the creative process.

Jamila Woods

Chicago-based vocalist and award-winning poet; associate artistic director of Young Chicago Authors

Hollis Wong-Wear

Poet, songwriter, community advocate, and vocalist in The Flavr Blue

Georgia Roberts

Seattle-based educator, reader, writer, Rakim fan

Ahamefule J. Oluo

Trumpet player, composer, writer, stand-up comic and theatrical director

Nikkita Oliver

Seattle-based anti-racist organizer, activist, creative, performance poet, musician, teaching artist, and lawyer

Dustin Washington

Core-trainer with The Peoples Institute for Survival and Beyond and director of the Community Justice program with The American Friends Service Committee

Bassist, composer, arranger, orchestrator, philosopher, Facebook rabble-rouser, and writer Martin Friedman

Anti-racist white organizer with the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, Seattle European Dissent and the Black Prisoners Caucus

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.

We are engaging with four initial organizations and collectives whose work inspires and informs us: Black Lives Matter, People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, Youth Undoing Institutional Racism & Freedom School (a project of AFSC and The People’s Institute), and Black Youth Project 100.

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.


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
Ryan Lewis
Ahamefule J. Oluo
Josh Rawlings
Malaelupe Samifua
Maelu Strange
Symbolyc One and Grey
Sam Townsend
Hollis Wong-Wear
Jamila Woods


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
Cameron Sage
Ben Secord
Sharod Smith
Gabriel Teodros
Dustin Washington

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