Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are trying to shake things up with their new album This Unruly Mess I've Made. Their first single "Downtown" had the fun, radio-friendly appeal of "Thrift Shop," but it wasn't until we heard "White Privilege II" that fans saw the social commentary that the duo were trying to attack. The song has been controversial to say the least and last night, Feb. 8, Macklemore, Ryan Lewis and group of poets performed on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.
Macklemore comes out and challenges the audience with the song about police brutality and race with a simple, but powerful performance of the song. He, Lewis and the backup singers are all clothed in black, while Macklemore is only one clearly visible with a strong white spotlight on him, reflecting the message of the song.
After performing the track for four minutes, Macklemore leaves the mic to two poets Danez Smith and Nikkita Oliver who take the point home even further with spoken word and another singer Jamilla Woods who expounds on his lyrics of "hip-hop is not a luxury" with a different, funky beat.
It is probably no coincidence that Colbert had Macklemore on to perform the same night Bill O'Reilly was a guest.
"White Privilege II" is the second single taken from Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' upcoming album This Unruly Mess I've Made. It is the follow up to the first version "White Privilege," which appeared on his 2005 album The Language of my World. The track also makes allusions to Iggy Azalea and Miley Cyrus, which he has insisted are all done as a part of a greater discussion on the issue of race, not to try and demean them.