Mackelmore was recently interviewed by Dr. James Peterson, director of Africana Studies and Associate Professor of English at Lehigh University. As a scholar, Peterson says he spends “a chunk” of his time “defending hip hop against accusations that it is an appropriative form, a derivative of greater black, American musical forms.”
For his podcast The Remix, he sat down with Macklemore, whom the professor describes as “self-reflective and deeply committed to learning more about the particular position he inhabits – a successful pop star who set out to make good hip hop music, who also happens to be white. That existential fact is almost as much a plague as it is privilege in the world of authenticity games in hip hop culture.” During the interview, Mackelmore said he’s doing his homework, reading more, trying to “deconstruct” the conversation about white privilege related to hip hop.
You can listen to the entire interview here. Also, Mackelmore and his music partner DJ Ryan Lewis are subjects of the VH1 documentary, The Ride, which airs April 18 at 9pm.