Rapper Macklemore has responded to the backlash surrounding his apparent attacks on Miley Cyrus and Iggy Azalea in the lyrics of his new single.
In White Privilege II, the Macklemore & Ryan Lewis star tackles racism and cultural appropriation, and takes aim at pop stars Iggy and Miley over their love and adoption of African-American culture.
"You've exploited and stolen the music, the moment/The magic, the passion, the fashion, you toy with/The culture was never yours to make better," he spits in the second verse of the track, adding, "You're Miley, you're Elvis, you're Iggy Azalea/Fake and so plastic, you've heisted the magic/You've taken the drums and the accent you rapped in/You're branded hip-hop, it's so fascist and backwards."
Macklemore then goes on to question his own actions as a Caucasian artist in hip-hop.
Azalea was quick to respond, calling out Macklemore for "having friendly convos (conversations)" with her and "taking pictures together at events".
Now, the Thrift Shop rapper tells Rolling Stone he didn't mean to diss the pop stars, stating, "For me, that second verse is unpacking. It's an unpacking moment of internalized criticism and self-doubt, and 'What have I done?' and letting the criticism infiltrate who I am. 'Why am I insecure at a (police brutality) protest?' And I think that people get put into boxes, and the conversation around cultural appropriation - I was at the forefront of that, rightfully so. And that conversation also included Miley Cyrus and Iggy Azalea, and that's why their names are on the record."
"So if I'm put on blast, critiqued, broken down, questioned - all those things will happen, and they are completely valid," he adds. "That's part of the design of the conversation. If there's a bigger teachable moment through this record, at the expense of me potentially being like, 'Oh, I should have said this,' or 'I shouldn't have said this,' or 'I see where that criticism is coming from', that's OK."