Latifah Muhammad

Dear Macklemore: Stop Apologizing For Being White [Editorial]


Macklemore is going through the motions of White shame. Instead of celebrating his Grammy wins, the 30-year-old has been busy apologizing for being a rapper, who also happens to be White.

We get it.

The Seattle native aired out some of that color humiliation in a Hot 97 interview publicized yesterday, saying of his Grammy victory, “It’s the blessing and the curse, a little bit more of the curse.”

There were also empathetic words for poor, poor Kendrick Lamar. “First and foremost, Kendrick [Lamar] is a friend of mine. He’s somebody that I love his music and, in my opinion, had the best rap album of the year, and knowing how the Grammys usually go, I knew that there would be a great chance that we’d win that award and, in essence, rob Kendrick. That’s what happened tonight. It kind of sucks. I think we made a great album. I think that Kendrick made a better rap album.”

The Seattle-rapper has never not been vocal about the fact that Hip-Hop has yet to fully embrace him, and he doesn’t tend to fight the opinions. He also acknowledges race as playing a part in his own success story. What results is a seemingly endless merry-go-round of humble boasting and self-loathing. Just as he’ll school you on his rap credentials in one interview, another finds him confessing, “If you’re going to be a White dude and do this sh-t, I think you have to take some level of accountability.”

In the new The Source magazine, the “Thrift Shop” rapper came right out and said  that Lamar deserved the Best Rap Album Grammy over him, and when that didn’t actually happen, the apology tour commenced. The first stop? Lamar’s inbox.

Mack sent Lamar  the following text to Lamar after last night’s show:

 “You got robbed. I wanted you to win. You should have. It’s weird and sucks that I robbed you. I was gonna say that during the speech. The music started playing during my speech and I froze. Anyway, you know what it is. Congrats on this year and your music. Appreciate you as an artist and as a friend. Much love.”

No matter how sincere publicizing the message wasn’t just good sportsmanship, but another way of fanning the race flames.

We don’t like to talk about it,  but there is a “color majority” in  Hip-Hop, as there are in other music genres. There are unwritten rules that people outside the color lines chose to abide by, which for Macklemore means asking for racial forgiveness as much as possible. But when is enough, enough?


1 2 3
Comment Comments: 15 Tags Tags:

More Stories From Hip-Hop Wired

Leave a Comment

  • hazysin

    I agree. While i do believe that White Privilege is the reason for his level of success (hes not Em) he should not constantly have to apologize for being who he is.

    • honestman1900

      Apologies, whether they be based on race or based on wealth, I find very annoying.

  • Rena

    I’m not sure how sincere his apology was. It would have meant more to say it to the people who make the decisions. By send and publicizing a private message it seems like he’s just trying to be accepted by the black community. Better to say nothing at all and take the win.

    • Cdj

      I agree!, talkin bout he was gonna say something about it but the music started playing and he froze… Yeah Right!

  • I think Macklemore knew that this was going to happen and he was going to receive backlash from ALOT of people because he was up against majority of black artist. Its like he wants black people to like him. He is a white rapper alot of people esp black are not going to listen to him, honestly. But its good to know that he seems sincere, this may be a front or may not be a front but at least he was brave to say something about it.

  • Name

    i don’t think he wanted to highlight the racial difference as much as it was simply his idea that Good Kid m.a.d.d. City was a better rap album that his. He still won 3 different awards, (which he didn’t apologize for), other than the rap album one. He recognized that he didn’t have the best project and that Kendricks was better. Whatever played into it being that way (race, radio play, endorsement deals, album sales, etc), was beside the point. Don’t bash a man for trying to recognize that he put out an inferior piece of work and accurately stating as such.

  • James

    I can guarantee you that the AA community would come down on him whether he said anything or not. He would be damned either way. The people with the voting power are a bit conservative, hence the reason Robin Thicke did not win for his sexist song and video. Perhaps the voting committee didn’t like the Shyt that Kendrick was saying about being the best. I dunno. It is completely racist to come down on Maklamore. He’s very talented and he has a very positive spirit and message.

    • scandalous7

      “I can guarantee you that the AA community would come down on him whether he said anything or not” ….you took the words right out of my mouth

  • esh

    i give credit where credit is due with the apology. he does acknowledge that he knew it was gonna work out like that. however, what does it say about the grammy”s when even whites recognize that it is their game. on black award shows is it about the better artist or ratings? that is anybody’s guess nowadays. there will be more to come on the “black/white rapper” issue in 2014.

  • V

    Nas hasn’t won a grammy yet. Kendrick should be proud. You are sitting next to the greats such as India Arie who spoke honestly about what they thought of the world. You are a legend in the making. That’s why black artists need to embrace black award shows more. Please do not bring white validation into 2014.

  • SosaysYou

    I think he deserved to win for several reasons. He can spit rhymes, his message is on point, his beats were dope and he and Ryan Lewis did it all without a major label, all of whom told him naw no one wants tho hear that, wrong. Nas should be an award winner over Em in my opinion but no one freaks out about that. He shouldn’t have to apologize he won and it was fair he won.

  • disqus_D2dDfEvn8S

    on one end he benefits from white privileged on the other end he also faces alot of criticizem for being white.

    • honestman1900

      Yeah, it’s not like there are no benefits to being Black, especially among Black fans who probably prefer that.

  • old news

    This is nothing new. Jesus Vanilla Ice won for Ice Ice baby and he sold ten million copies. Whitnee Houston received two grammys in her entire career as long as people watch it’ll still happen. Eminem won the first Oscar this has been a problem and will continue to be.

  • honestman1900

    Is it possible he just worked very hard to get where he is? Or is that not possible? No, must be because has has light skin. Wait, so do I. Can I become a Grammy award winning rapper now?