US rapper Macklemore supports Palestinians, campus protests with new track

AFP , Friday 10 May 2024

Macklemore has released a new song in support of Palestinians that also praises students across the United States protesting against Israel's war on Gaza, now in its seventh month.

File photo: US rapper Benjamin Hammond Haggerty, aka Macklemore, performs during the Colours of Ostrava music festival in Ostrava, Czech Republic, on July 20, 2023. AFP


University students have been mobilizing for weeks on campuses over Israel's deadly war and its US backing, with police forcibly clearing protest camps -- sometimes violently -- and arresting more than 2,000 people nationwide.

"If students in tents posted on the lawn / Occupying the quad is really against the law / And a reason to call in the police and their squad / Where does genocide land in your definition, huh?" Macklemore raps in "Hind's Hall."

The song is named after the building at Columbia University that students recently occupied and renamed after Hind Rajab, a six-year-old Palestinian girl whom Israel killed in Gaza.

Macklemore admonishes the US government, telling President Joe Biden "blood is on your hands" and that he won't vote for him in the November election.

Israel is "a state that's gotta rely on an apartheid system to uphold an occupying violent history, been repeating for the last 75" years, Macklemore says in the song.

"We see the lies in them, claiming it's anti-Semitic to be anti-Zionist / I've seen Jewish brothers and sisters out there and riding in solidarity and screaming 'Free Palestine' with them."

The rapper best known for cult hits like 2012's "Thrift Shop" has released socially aware music in the past, while also criticizing ills including poverty and consumerism.

In his latest track -- which is currently only out on social media -- Macklemore also criticizes the music industry for being "complicit in their platform of silence" while casting Drake and Kendrick Lamar's ongoing rap beef as trivial in light of actual war.

"I want a ceasefire, fuck a response from Drake" he raps.

The song samples "Ana La Habibi" from Lebanese superstar singer Fairuz.

Macklemore said that once it's available to stream, all proceeds will go to UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees.

*This story was edited by Ahram Online

Short link: