Latifah Muhammad

Dear Macklemore: Stop Apologizing For Being White [Editorial]



Becoming a successful White rapper can be a tricky maneuver, and unfortunately, the race issue is bound to come up. This is not to say that  skin color dictates skill level, but being in the rap minority could very well be an uncomfortable place for anyone. As such, White rapper prerequisites usually tend to include publicly speaking about the Black woman (or women) you had sex with, the Black people you grew up around, and speaking out against the “n-word,” but also collaborating with artists who freely use the epithet.

It’s quite a  balancing act and because Macklemore is relatively just getting his feet wet in the White rapper pool, his  internal struggle is very, very real.

New York Times writer, Jon Caramanica, speaks to his”white guilt” in a piece noting that the Grammy winner’s reaction to beating K. Dot works to “reinforce the narrative of Macklemore as tortured intruder, keen to relish his success but stressed about all the shoulders he’s had to step on along the way.”

Other points that can be raised are that he’s just being honest, and maybe looking for a little sympathy in the process. Of course, the irony  here is that Hip-Hop was birthed out of non-acceptance, and has  now become a club so exclusive that it can discriminate against others.


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  • 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?