The Iggy Azalea vs. Azealia Banks feud shows no signs of abating before we enter the new year. With neither Azalea nor Banks offering additional remarks, however, radio station Hot 97 turned to another musician for his thoughts on the situation. Macklemore has been laying low for a while, but he was the go-to voice for social consciousness when he made his big debut with Ryan Lewis in 2012.
The radio station asked him indirectly to weigh in on Banks' accusation that Azalea's career has been built on the reappropriation of hip-hop culture without an understanding of its history. Macklemore made some compelling points about white hip-hop artists, race relations, and his experience as a white rapper.
"You need to know your place in the culture. Are you contributing or are you taking? Are you using it for your own advantage or are you contributing?" Macklemore told Hot 97, hitting at the core of Banks' — and many other's — problems with Iggy Azalea. "[Y]ou cannot disregard where this culture came from, and our place in it as white people. This is not my culture to begin with...I do believe that I need to know my place."
Macklemore is conscious of his place in the industry and sensitive to people's perceptions of him as a white rapper. He notes that parents view him as "safe," even though his albums have the same explicit content advisory warnings as many others. "I can cuss on a record...yet parents are still like, 'You're the only rap I let my kids listen to,'" he points out. "Why can I wear a hoodie and not be labeled a thug?...Why am I on Ellen's couch?...The privilege that exists in the music industry is just a greater symptom of the privilege that exists in America. There's no difference."
These are issues we need to be talking about, Macklemore tells Hot 97. "We have to get past that awkward stage of the race conversation." The whole interview is ahead, and it's definitely worth a listen — especially if you're in Iggy Azalea's shoes.