At the end of last week, Macklemore and his right hand man Ryan Lewis dropped a nine-minute song titled "White Privilege ll." As you could guess, it's sparked a ton of controversy--lyrics like "We take all we want from black culture / But will we show up for black lives?" inspired and enraged people all over the Internet.
Another point of contention was found in the second verse, where Mack name-checks a few familiar pop stars from the voiced of an enraged listener: "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 / Your brand of hip-hop, it's so fascist and backwards."
In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Macklemore has explained why he chose to target Miley Cyrus and Iggy Azalea:
“For me, that second verse is unpacking. It’s an unpacking moment of internalized criticism and self-doubt, and 'What have I done,’ and letting the criticism infiltrate who I am. 'Why am I insecure at a protest?’ And I think that people get put into boxes, and the conversation around cultural appropriation — I was at the forefront of that, rightfully so. And that conversation also included Miley Cyrus and Iggy Azalea, and that’s why their names are on the record.”