Macklemore Talks Hip Hop & Cultural Appropriation

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
Kyleen James

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis performed at the T-Mobile concert at Downtown's Belasco Theatre on Jan. 23.

"I do believe that I need to know my place, and that comes from me listening"

As the conversation around race and hip-hop continues, Macklemore stopped by the Ebro in the Morning show -- on New York City's radio station Hot 97 -- to talk about cultural appropriation, his experiences as a white rapper, and Kendrick Lamar. Check out the interview below.

The conversation moves to Azealia Banks and Iggy Azalea around the 28 minute mark. Macklemore made it clear he doesn't want to get involved in the ongoing beef -- Azealia Banks called Action Bronson "a coward" yesterday -- but he said "there's a lot of truth in [Banks'] interview." Macklemore continued, "I saw a Tweet, it was something along the lines of 'Hip-Hop was birthed out of the Civil Rights Movement.' This is a culture that came from pain, it came from oppression, it came from white oppression… you cannot disregard where this culture came from and our place in it as white people."

Macklemore also stressed the importance of listening. "I learned from [Q-Tip's] Twitter," Macklemore said. "That's a OG breaking down truth. Again I'm not getting into how [Iggy] responded, I'm just saying it's important to listen and to be humble… this is not my culture to begin with. This is not a culture that white people started. So I do believe, as much as I have honed my craft, as much as I have put in years of dedication into the music that I love, I do believe that I need to know my place, and that comes from me listening."

The conversation later turned to Macklemore's relationship with Kendrick Lamar. Macklemore said he made a mistake last year by publicizing his post-Grammy Awards apology to Lamar. "First and foremost, the mistake came from Instagramming the text message and betraying my homie's trust… I betrayed Kendrick's trust." "The language that I used was a bad call," Macklemore continued. "'Robbed' was a bad choice of a word -- white people have been robbing black people for a long time." Here's the whole clip.

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