Veteran rapper Talib Kweli is an underground force in hip-hop. He’s well-respected among his peers and hip-hop audiences, which lends him a limb to express his opinions and critiques of the culture. Though Kweli needs to perfect his role as a feminist ally, he has wisdom and expertise to offer in other areas.
In an interview with VLAD TV, the Brooklyn-native discussed the meteoric rise of Macklemore as it relates to white male privilege in hip-hop. He compared Macklemore’s success to that of Mac Miller and Eminem, alleging all three MCs are able to navigate the hip-hop terrain without pitfalls because they’re cloaked with white male privilege.
It is a valid critique that can also be leveraged against white women rappers like Kreayshawn and Iggy Azalea as well as R&B artists like Justin Timberlake.
This observation does not negate the talent of Eminem or Macklemore. Kweli acknowledges how influential Eminem’s vision of rap was. However, white male privilege offers Eminem, Macklemore, Mac Miller and others a fluidity that might not be offered to rappers of color.
What do you think Clutchettes? Does Talib Kweli have a valid argument?