Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' 'White Privilege II' Flies to No. 1 on Billboard + Twitter Trending 140 Chart
The new track is expected to be on the duo’s second studio album, This Unruly Mess I’ve Made, due out Feb. 26, and comes after the original “White Privilege” from the rapper’s 2005 album, The Language of My World.
The Trending 140 chart measures the acceleration of conversation around artists and their music, while the Emerging Artists chart measures the volume of tweets around new artists and their songs.
As its title suggests, “Privilege,” which clocks in at nearly nine minutes in length, addresses the social issues surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement and cultural appropriation. “This song is the outcome of an ongoing dialogue with musicians, activists, and teachers within our community in Seattle and beyond,” Macklemore wrote in a post accompanying the track’s debut. “Their work and engagement was essential to the creative process.” The pair credits eight collaborators for their assistance in creating the track, including Chicago singer Jamila Woods, who provides vocals on the single.
Within the cut, Macklemore calls out Elvis Presley, Miley Cyrus and Iggy Azalea, rapping “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/ You're Miley, you're Elvis, you're Iggy Azalea."
“Privilege” marks Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ fourth straight track to reach the Trending 140 summit in recent months. Their streak began with the Ed Sheeran-assisted “Growing Up (Sloane’s Song),” which hit No. 1 on Aug. 8, followed by the funky, flamboyant “Downtown” on Aug.27. The pair most recently topped the list on Nov. 23 with “Kevin,” featuring Leon Bridges, after all three artists debuted the track during the 2015 American Music Awards the previous evening.
All three cuts will presumably join "Privilege" on This Unruly Mess. The album follows the duo’s debut studio album, The Heist, released in 2012. The set reached No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and produced two No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 in “Can’t Hold Us” (featuring Ray Dalton) and “Thrift Shop.” Among its accolades, The Heist claimed the Grammy award for best rap album.