Macklemore Performs A Powerful Rendition Of White Privilege 2 Without The Distractions (Video)

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From the minute Macklemore & Ryan Lewis released their powerful song, White Privilege II, it created a storm of controversy. While the song was designed to provoke a strong response and stir up discussion, sadly, a lot of the discourse was gossipy and shallow conjecture about whether or not the Seattle MC was dissing Iggy Azalea, Miley Cyrus and Elvis with his line that said “You’re Miley, you’re Elvis, you’re Iggy Azalea; fake and so plastic, you’ve heisted the magic.” Macklemore was clearly including himself in the commentary, questioning whether they all were beneficiaries of their birthright, and the swirl took away from his bigger points about the overall systemic racism that has been in place in America for centuries and which continues to allow an easier path for whites than people of color.

Last night, Macklemore and Lewis took the stage on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, and they delivered a stunning live rendition of the song. Backed by a full choir and a band, and accompanied by singer Jamila Woods and poets Nikkita Oliver and Danez Smith, Macklemore opted to leave out the verse bearing the names of other entertainers, in order to ensure the focus remained on the song’s pertinent questions about White Privilege.

As the duo has said in interviews, the song is meant to be the beginning of a discussion, not its summation. Thus far, they have accomplished their goal, as each time the song is performed or the record is played it has inspired more dialogue.

Related: Macklemore & Sway Have an Incredibly Deep & Important Conversation About White Supremacy (Video)