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Macklemore Dares Others to Stand Up for Palestine



Macklemore onstage with a delightful duck-print short-sleeve shirt.

With “Hind’s Corridor,” the rapper is telling artists and different tradition staff, “The scholars are risking all of it. The place are you?”

Macklemore performs reside at Lollapalooza Berlin 2023 on September 10.

(Gina Wetzler / Redferns through Getty)

The foremost authority on the revolutionary rock/rap band Rage Towards the Machine, their very own guitarist Tom Morello, tweeted this. Rage Towards the Machine stuffed stadiums within the Nineties with its model of radical, political hearth. Now Macklemore is carrying the flame.

For many who haven’t heard it, “Hind’s Corridor”—named after Columbia’s renamed constructing that college students occupied—is a fantastic, incendiary new monitor about Palestine and the scholar motion by Seattle rap artist Macklemore. With its panoply of up-to-date reference, the lyrics appear as in the event that they had been written instantly earlier than the track dropped. Macklemore raps in regards to the pupil occupations, violent police staring down peaceable resistance, the silence of the music trade within the face of genocide, the efforts to ban TikTok, the proud Jewish function on this wrestle, and the good lie that anti-Zionism and antisemitism are in any approach the identical factor.

On this monitor, Macklemore, born Ben Haggerty, recenters the dialogue not on the encampments however the cause they exist: the carnage in Gaza. He rhymes, “The individuals, they received’t go away / What’s threatenin’ about divesting and wantin’ peace? / The issue isn’t the protests, it’s what they’re protesting / It goes in opposition to what our nation is funding/ (Hey) Block the barricade till Palestine is free / (Hey) Block the barricade till Palestine is free.”

Macklemore additionally treads on the third rail of the second: Biden’s complicity in Israel’s battle on the individuals of Gaza and the 2024 elections. He raps, “The blood is in your arms, Biden, we will see all of it, And fuck no, I’m not votin’ for you within the fall (Woo) Undecided. You’ll be able to’t twist the reality, the individuals out right here united / By no means be defeated when freedom’s on the horizon.”

In releasing “Hind’s Corridor,” which has already gone viral, Macklemore is doing extra than simply asserting his solidarity. He says he’ll ship all streaming proceeds to the United Nations Reduction and Works Company for Palestine Refugees within the Close to East. He’s additionally breaking a silence that has unfold to almost each facet of our tradition. The music trade has been silent on Palestine. Star athletes, so central to the Black Lives Matter motion, have largely been too scared to talk. Most of Hollywood has stored quiet. I do know artists and athletes who need to communicate up for Palestine however are appropriately involved that they might be placing their careers in peril. With “Hind’s Corridor,” Macklemore is breaking the glass and alluring, even daring, different individuals to stroll by the shards, breathe the air, and make their voices heard. He’s staring on the creative world saying, “The scholars are risking all of it. The place are you?”

Present Concern

Cover of May 2024 Issue

The discharge of “Hind’s Corridor” is paying homage to when the primary individuals within the film trade started to rent blacklisted writers within the Nineteen Fifties or that second when Paul Robeson, going through the Home of Un-American Actions Committee, was instructed to return to Russia (actually telling him to return to Africa), and he refused, saying, “As a result of my father was a slave, and my individuals died to construct this nation, and I’m going to remain right here, and have part of it similar to you. And no Fascist-minded individuals will drive me from it. Is that clear?” These acts produced the oxygen of freedom the place none existed earlier than. “Hind’s Corridor” is now a part of that custom.

To be clear: Macklemore is standing up as a result of the scholars are standing up on campuses throughout the nation. He’s drawing inspiration from the younger individuals risking their security and their futures by denouncing a genocide funded by our tax {dollars}. As a substitute of being cowed by his trade’s silence, Macklemore is elevating the amount. As a substitute of slouching by this disaster with drained battle rhymes, he’s elevating the stakes: telling individuals to make use of their expertise to look past themselves.

As he writes in “Hind’s Corridor”:

What you willin’ to threat? What you willin’ to present?
What in case you had been in Gaza? What if these had been your youngsters?
If the West was pretendin’ that you simply didn’t exist
You’d need the world to face up and the scholars lastly did,
let’s get it.

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Dave Zirin

Dave Zirin is the sports activities editor at The Nation. He’s the creator of 11 books on the politics of sports activities. He’s additionally the coproducer and author of the brand new documentary Behind the Defend: The Energy and Politics of the NFL.

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