Macklemore's Response to "Racist" Haircut Got People Talking

Macklemore's undercut was dubbed "the chosen haircut of the racists"—but this isn't the first time the Seattle rapper has been called out


(Photo: Getty Images)

Earlier this week, Macklemore got called out for his haircut—you know the one, the undercut that seemed ubiquitous among the white nationalists in Charlottesville this past weekend—by comedian Jon Hendren.

It didn’t take long for Mack to respond, and his response has since gone viral. 

In fact, the first 50 or so comments were various versions of “thank you” from people all over Twitter. 

This isn’t the first time the haircut has been linked to the growing white nationalist population in the U.S.

Back in 2016, The Washington Post ran a story asking “Does this haircut make me look racist?” and explored the roots of the undercut, with the unsettling nickname, “Hitler Youth,” for its resemblance to a style popularized in 1930s Germany.

And reaching further back, in 2011, the New York Times noted how the style appeared to be taking off amongst the hipster crowd, some even asking barbers for it by its offensive nickname. 

“It’s unlikely that these men are referencing totalitarianism,” said the story. “But even if the hairstyle feels modern, it’s easy for some people who have seen more than 15 minutes of ‘Triumph of the Will,’ the 1935 Nazi propaganda film, to squirm at the sight of those buzzed temples and flopping forelocks.”

Eagle-eyed sleuths at BuzzFeed noticed that it looks like Macklemore started sporting his new buzzcut as early as October 2016. 

This isn’t the first time Macklemore has been called out. His 2016 song White Privilege II put him at the centre of a larger debate about race in the United States. In the nine-minute song, Macklemore speaks directly to his own white privilege—and calls out several recording artists for appropriating culture and music as their own. Not everyone agreed on his sincerity though. 

To others, the tune was a notable undertaking of white complicity.

Of the song, Macklemore told Rolling Stone: “If I’m put on blast, critiqued, broken down, questioned—all those things will happen, and they are completely valid. That’s part of the design of the conversation.” He continued: “I think that, as a white person stepping into doing any sort of anti-systematic-racism type of work, asking yourself, ‘What is your intention?’ needs to happen on a consistent basis. Check yourself. Check yourself. Check yourself, like, constantly.”

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