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Macklemore on Rap, Cultural Appropriation and White Privilege

Donald Kaufman
Correspondent
Donald Kaufman is an L.A.-based producer, composer and mix engineer. He is also the songwriter and frontman of the band Visceral Design. After graduating from Berklee College of Music, Kaufman began…
Donald Kaufman

In an interview Monday with New York City hip hop radio station Hot 97 that began with a discussion of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, rap artist Macklemore discussed changes in rap music and culture and the privileges he enjoys as a white musician.

“Why am I safe?” he asked 12 minutes into the conversation. “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.’ … If I was black, what would my drug addiction look like? It would be twisted into something else versus maybe, ‘Get back on your feet!’ 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.”

— Posted by Donald Kaufman.

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