Just when you thought we were done talking about Macklemore, he goes and explicitly offends somebody this time (you know instead of winning an undeserved award and all of that). While in his hometown of Seattle Friday night, Macklemore performed his mega-hit “Thrift Shop” garbed in “Jewface.”The ever-apologizing emcee threw together the what’s what of anti-Semitic stereotypes into a look worthy of a 1800s program flyer.
“My intention was to dress up and surprise the people at the show with a random costume and nothing more. Thus, it was surprising and disappointing that the images of a disguise were sensationalized leading to the immediate assertion that my costume was anti-Semetic. I acknowledge how the costume could, within a context of stereotyping, be ascribed to a Jewish caricature. I am here to say that it was absolutely not my intention, and unfortunately at the time I did not foresee the costume to be viewed in such regard. I’m saddened that this story, or any of my choices, would lead to any form of negativity.”
Having followed Macklemore’s career for some time, I could always respect his grind and hustle. Unlike some other emcees (both white and otherwise), Macklemore seemed to genuinely respect the craft and the culture. As well, some of his earliest music was definitely tinged with social criticism and insight.
But as his stardom grew, the focus of both fans and critics on the social activist aspects of his music and his smug sense of “enlightenment” on par with some other stars made him into a caricature. And this new sanctimonious attitude left some fans, like myself, disillusioned.
His unearned victory over Kendrick at the Grammys pretty much dried up any goodwill he had with the hardcore (and some casual) Hip-Hop audience. So this current situation is one part funny, one part sad, but mostly ironic.
Just like before, no matter what Mack’s true intentions and thoughts are he’s put himself in this predicament. Now, the guy who claims to be so aware just pulled a dummy move. One can only imagine what the consequences will be. Because, as everyone knows, the Jewish community is one of the four sacred cows of American outrage. They sit atop the list of groups of people that a celebrity will almost certainly get into trouble for offending. They occupy this elite position with Blacks (we can definitely come together to get somebody fired or fined), the LGBT community, and conservatives.
Well, good luck with that Mack.