Macklemore and Ryan Lewis release their new song, “White Privilege II” for free on iTunes. The song is a nine-minute sequel to a 2005 track of the same name and, as Vulture points out, is very Hamilton-esque. As the title suggest, it's about the unequal treatment (and notoriety) that white people receive and Macklemore's perplexity about how one can be an ally of the Black Lives Matter movement while appropriating (and getting rich off) black culture.
Macklemore, who marched with Black Lives Matter after the Michael Brown decision, talks about his feelings of unease regarding his involvement in the movement: “Okay, I'm saying that they're chanting out, 'Black lives matter,' but I don't say it back / Is it okay for me to say? I don't know, so I watch and stand in front of a line of police that look the same as me.”
He also addresses white supremacy and its roots in American history. But, perhaps most noteworthy, is his indictment of fellow white musicians, namely Miley Cyrus and Iggy Azalea, and their appropriation of black culture: “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 / Fake and so plastic, you've heisted the magic / You've taken the drums and the accent you rapped in.” The song ends with a line from singer Jamila Woods, who purrs in the kicker, “Your silence is a luxury / Hip-hop is not a luxury.”
David Bowie is not, after all, getting his own constellation. The MIRA Public Observatory in Belgium had announced the Stardust for Bowie project, which would have named a seven-star cluster in the shape of a lightning-bolt pointing towards Mars after the famed pop star who died on January 10, but the International Astronomical Union, who is in charge of naming constellations, has negated this claim. The Union says they haven't received any application for a constellation to be named after the late singer, and points out that the constellation has already been mapped and named, anyways.
Don McLean, the singer-songwriter of “American Pie,” was arrested for domestic violence. The musician was charged with a misdemeanor on the morning of Jan. 18 and arrested at his Camden, Maine home. He spent a few hours in jail before getting out on bail. The incident allegedly happened at 2 a.m., but no further details were provided. But Knox County corporal Bradley Woll told People, “He's not the first celebrity we've dealt with, and he won't be the last.”
On Jan. 21, three days after his arrest, McLean issued a statement on his personal website, asking his fans not to judge him “in this frantic media environment” and avowing that he is “not a villain.” The singer-songwriter wrote that the last year had been an emotionally hard time for himself, his wife, and his children, and continues to be so. He doesn't attribute the cause of said-hard times, but says that their “hearts are broken” and “what is occurring is the very painful breakdown of an almost 30 year relationship.” He finishes the paragraph-long statement with the wish that “people will realize that this will all be resolved,” while at the same time acknowledging that “I may never recover from this.”
Rapper and Wu-Tang co-founder Ghostface Killah will release his own line of concentrated hash oil cartridges called Wu Gu. In a new song and accompanied music video (which, oddly enough, opens with a fake infomercial for the line), the MC discusses his new, “organic” product that comes in multiple flavors, including mango, strawberry, and pineapple coconut. Ghostface teamed up with vape pen maker Dr. Zodiak's Dynamite Stix to develop Wu Gu, as well as a “master scientist” who “really does his thing in oils. A real scientist, no bullshit.”