Hana Shafi Calling All Macklemore Fans

White boys love Macklemore.

In fact, I think a lot of them might actually worship him. See, to your average semi-hipster to frat-house-type white boy, Macklemore is this pinnacle of urban coolness, their one symbol of hope that they can be gangster too. Macklemore comes on at a party and they start jamming out to it like they’ve been stylishly hood their whole life; all of a sudden, they’re into that rap scene, they’re hip-hop savvy, snapback wearing, tank-top adorned youngsters who now want to break it down and raise the roof like they were born for it.

Except, not really. It’s funny, you put on a Macklemore song for your average white guy and suddenly he’s all about listening to some good rap. But you put on Wu-Tang or A Tribe Called Quest, or someone newer like ASAP or Tinie Tempah and suddenly, rap isn’t really their thing. Because apparently only Macklemore’s rap is meaningful and well-executed. So basically they wanna be hood, but they don’t wanna be too hood. Hmmm, smells like some hypocritical privileged bullshit to me. 

Some might point out that it’s Macklemore’s profound and socially conscious lyrics that can be attributed for his fame. But some of Macklemore’s most moving songs about loss and drug addiction aren’t what make him a recognizable name. It’s the song Thrift Shop that is known by so many, probably one of his least meaningful songs of all. And why are we forgetting about the many Black rappers who provide criticism on society and insight on issues like poverty, racism, and sexism through their lyrics? I often like to point out Lil B; yeah his songs are pretty ridiculous, but somehow I feel like his socially conscious lyrics would be taken more seriously if he were some hipster, rapping white boy rather than a straight-up hood Black guy. Double standard? I think so. Time to bust out the r-word: racism!

Yup, that’s racism alright. The fact that talented Black rappers might be praised for their musical skills, but when a White rapper emerges onto the scene, suddenly he’s this special, innovative gem. The White rappers efforts to be socially conscious in his music and advocate for charity and social issues seem to glow under a shining spotlight, when a Black rappers same efforts are brushed aside and forgotten.  

It’s not that I think Macklemore sucks. His music is good and I can admit that. It’s that so many of his die-hard fans seem to ignore pretty much every other rapper in the genre, finding it stylish and hip when a White rapper uses “urban” slang, but find it distasteful or stupid or “too ghetto” when a Black rapper does. It’s a double standard that many fans seem to casually glance over or vehemently ignore. 

If you think you’re only into rap music when it’s really “good” rap and your example is how much you love Macklemore, then it becomes completely obvious how little you know about the genre and how ignorantly you are indulging in such an unfair double standard. There is lots of good rap out there, so open up a new tab, type in Youtube, and experience it. 

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