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Macklemore Speaks On Text Message Being Viewed As “White Guilt” After Winning Grammy Over Kendrick Lamar

Macklemore Speaks On Text Message Being Viewed As “White Guilt” After Winning Grammy Over Kendrick Lamar

photo credit: Cindy Ord l Getty Images

Every year since 2014, hip-hop fans are relive one of the most talked about moments in rap, when Macklemore and Ryan Lewis won the Best Rap Album Grammy, beating out the likes of Drake, Jay-Z, Kanye West, and infamously Kendrick Lamar.

While Macklemore took home his first Grammy win seven years ago, it was the text message seen around the world that fueled the outrage behind Lamar’s loss. During a recent appearance on Talib Kweli’s People’s Party, the Seattle native rehashed how his message to Kendrick Lamar was viewed as “white guilt”. Macklemore first shared his struggle to understand why he initially received backlash for being in the rap conversation for his debut album ‘The Heist’ explaining, “There was a big conversation around whether we should be in the Best Rap Album category, and I’m like, ‘What the f*ck? Do I not rap? Is this not a rap album?’ I get that there are pop sensibilities. I get that there are unapologetic pop moments. But is ‘Jimmy Iovine’ not a rap song?’ Is ‘Make The Money’ not a rap song?”.

 

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And then, of course there’s that text message Macklemore sent to Lamar the night after what many believe to be a Grammys snub. Speaking on how white privilege may have played a factor in the Recording Academy crowning him with the 2014 Best Rap Album, the rapper states, “I’m struggling with like, ‘Damn, I’m benefiting from the system I’ve been calling out since I was 20 years old,'” he said. “Here I am at the highest level of artistic merit, the GRAMMYs, and here I am benefiting from the same sh*t I’ve been talking about. So I was conflicted. People want to say it was guilt. It was, ‘He feels guilty about being white.’ That’s so surface level. Was there an air of that? Absolutely. Was that the reason? Absolutely not at the forefront.”

Check out his full appearance below!