(AllHipHop News) Macklemore & Ryan Lewis broke into the mainstream by "Can't Hold Us" and "Thrift Shop" reaching #1, The Heist LP going platinum, and the group winning three 2013 Grammys including the award for Best Rap Album.
Some observers saw that level of commercial and critical achievement as just the precursor of the duo's long-lasting success in the industry. However, Mack and Lewis' next project, 2016's This Unruly Mess I've Made, only opened with 61,000 album-equivalent units in its first week and received mixed reviews.
While speaking with The Breakfast Club this week, Macklemore offered his thoughts on why This Unruly Mess did not live up to the expectations set by The Heist. He was asked directly if he believes talking about politics in his music affected the sales.
"Yes, among other things," answered Macklemore. "I think we had a rollout that was pretty horrible... It was trash. We just had so much time in between [when] 'Downtown' dropped and the album didn't come out for seven months after that."
He continued, "'White Privilege II' is obviously a very polarizing record which we knew going into it... I think anytime you bring up an issue like white supremacy you're going to have a bunch of people, particularly white people, like, 'What? White supremacy? What is he doing? What is this concept? Who is he trying to appeal to?'"
Despite some of the negative feedback he received for the content of the track, Macklemore said he would not have changed his artistic approach.
"I'm very proud of the music we made and stick by it," stated the Seattle-raised rapper. "[I'm] very proud of what 'White Privilege' was as a record and [what it created] behind the scenes, the conversations and relationships I built around that record and talking about race."
The Breakfast Club interview also included him adding, "We as white people are the reason why white supremacy exists. It's not on people of color to fix this problem. It's on white people to fix this problem."
Macklemore is set to release his solo album Gemini on September 22. The collection features guest appearances by Lil Yachty, Offset, Skylar Grey, Kesha, and more.