Macklemore Calls Out Latimer, AIPAC & Others In Pro Palestine Music Video Hind’s Hall

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The Grammy Award winning rapper calls out George Latimer, AIPAC and others, tosses in a Drake diss while calling out the silence of other recording artists.

Macklemore released a powerful protest track, “Hind’s Hall” on social media May 6 supporting pro-Palestinian protesters at college campuses across the country, calling for an end to Israel’s war in Gaza. He calls out politicians backed by AIPAC including CD-16 Congressional candidate George Latimer and others including President Biden.

You can pay off Meta, you can’t pay off me
Politicians who serve by any means
AIPAC, CUFI, and all the companies
You see, we sell fear around the land of the free

County Executive George Latimer’s image appears on the screen as Macklemore raps, “Politicians who serve by an means, AIPAC, CUFI and all these companies,” alluding to Latimer being recruited to run against Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)’s PAC who has infused over a million dollars into Latimer’s campaign. AIPAC and others have invested millions to challenge Bowman, a member of the Squad who has called for a Gaza ceasefire.

The song’s accompanying video (see below) is made up of clips of people protesting and showing support for Palestinians, plus various clips of police officers and politicians. As I write this, it had received 24.7 million views on X, formerly Twitter, and more than 75 million views on Instagram. However, the video has been age-restricted on YouTube, where it has been viewed 714,476 times and counting, prompting social media users to accuse the company of limiting the song’s reach.

I’m sure when Latimer was talked into primarying Bowman, he had no idea he would be mentioned in such a powerful protest and pro-Palestine song. He will not be the first elected official or candidate to receive pushback for being on the wrong side of history. Over the years, there have been a number of Hip-Hop songs that have addressed political issues such as police brutality, oppression, war, racism, and poverty, among others. This song is bigger than Hip-Hop. Hine’s Hall by Macklemore is just the latest in a long list of anti-war protest songs in Hip-Hop, Rock, R&B, Soul Music, and several other musical genres.

The Seattle rapper released “Hind’s Hall” and says once it’s up on streaming services, he’ll donate all proceeds to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), an independent 501c3 nonprofit organization that provides support for humanitarian work of the United Nations Agency for Palestine Refugees. The song’s title is a reference to the new name protesters at Columbia University gave to Hamilton Hall when they occupied it last month, re-naming it after Hind Rajab, a six-year-old likely killed by the Israeli military in February. 

The people, they won’t leave
What is threatenin’ about divesting and wantin’ peace?
The problem isn’t the protests, it’s what they’re protesting
It goes against what our country is funding
(Hey) Block the barricade until Palestine is free
(Hey) Block the barricade until Palestine is free
When I was seven, I learned a lesson from Cube and Eazy-E
What was it again? Oh yeah, fuck the police (Woo)

In one of the most notable quotables of the song, Macklemore who defeated Kendrick Lamar in the Best Rap Album category at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards in 2014 calls out his fellow recording artists for their silence and a image of the unapologetic Tupac Shakur graces the screen. Formerly known as Professor Macklemore, he also takes a shot at the infamous Kendrick/Drake beef that has literally stopped the world waiting for the next response instead of addressing broader social issues.

What happened to the artist? What d’you got to say?
If I was on a label, you could drop me today
I’d be fine with it ’cause the heart fed my page
I want a ceasefire, fuck a response from Drake (Woo)
What you willin’ to risk? What you willin’ to give?
What if you were in Gaza? What if those were your kids?
If the West was pretendin’ that you didn’t exist
You’d want the world to stand up and the students finally did, let’s get it (Woo)

I echo Macklemore’s sentiment, “what happened to the artist? What d’you got to say? Why did it take a white rapper to call it out, to call them out. I too have gone down the rabbit whole of this battle between Kung Fu Kenny and Drizzy Drake, I also echo, “I want a ceasefire, fuck a response from Drake.” Since its earliest days, Hip-Hop has been inherently political – a powerful vehicle to deliver messages society needs to hear. Through the spoken word, emcees have often conveyed the politics of hip-hop even more directly than those of their rock and folk predecessors. Reflecting and commenting on the world around them, the most gifted and charismatic emcees have taken the politics of Hip-Hop into the mainstream for years.

But I am also perplexed by the silence of the leaders in the Black Community, but that’s an essay for a later day! Lastly I had a recent conversation with someone close to Latimer and texted a link to the video who wrote this off to “celebrities getting paid to record stuff,” I told him this is not that, he donating the proceeds to UNRWA, it’s not even about the money for him. Macklemore has a long track record for speaking up on issues and has been standing on business for awhile. This isn’t even the first time he has spoken on this issue. This song is the very essence of what Hip-Hop and musical compositions of anti-war and protest from Bob Dylan and Marvin Gaye to Macklemore today have always represented. Like we remember those songs of the 60s this will be remembered as well, its already gone viral and is just scratching the surface. In response to all that the Latimer associate still not taking it seriously replied, “So Latimer is losing the Hip-Hop/Rapper vote.” I felt no need to continue the conversation and decided to write this instead!

Macklemore has spoken out against the war in Gaza before, releasing a statement last October and then speaking at a demonstration in Washington, D.C., the following month. “They told me to be quiet,” he said at the time. “They told me to do my research, to go back, that it’s too complex to say something, right? To be silent in this moment. In the last three weeks I’ve gone back and I’ve done some research … I’m teachable. I don’t know enough. But I know enough that this is a genocide.”

Macklemore voiced his support of LGBT rights and same-sex marriage in the song “Same Love” released in 2012, which also condemns homophobia in mainstream hip-hop, society, and mass media. Macklemore is an outspoken critic of Donald Trump. In July 2016, he was featured on the song “FDT (Fuck Donald Trump), Pt. 2” by YG and Nipsey Hussle, alongside G-Eazy. In January 2021, after the presidential inauguration of Joe Biden, he released “Trump’s Over Freestyle”. Macklemore attended the 2017 Women’s March on Washington. On May 16, 2019, Macklemore received the Stevie Ray Vaughan Award from MusiCares, in recognition of his support of MusiCares and the addiction recovery process. For those who think someone paid him, he is not new to this.

Latimer and his supporters have called out Jamaal Bowman for calling for a ceasefire and for an end to the innocent lives lost in Gaza at the hands of Israel. Now he shifts calling for a temporary ceasefire. To all who criticized those who have called for a ceasefire from almost the beginning, I say to you all, History Is Watching. What side of history do you want to be remembered for? Thanks to Macklemore’s track Latimer will be remembered by many more people and not for the good work he has done in his 30 plus political career. I ask Latimer is this the hill you want to die on?

I end leaving you the words of Macklemore,

The problem isn’t the protests, it’s what they’re protesting
It goes against what our country is funding

And to George Latimer you may have shifted your opinion, but Macklemore addresses your shift as well;

But it’s too late, we’ve seen the truth, we bear witness
Seen the rubble, the buildings, the mothers and the children
And all the men that you murdered, and then we see how you spin it
Who gets the right to defend and who gets the right of resistance
Has always been about dollars and the color of your pigment, but
White supremacy is finally on blast

Let’s hope for your sake these words are not how history remembers you! And that’s Real Talk!

AJ Woodson
AJ Woodson
AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief and co-owner of Black Westchester, Host & Producer of the People Before Politics Radio Show, An Author, Journalism Fellow (Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism), Rap Artist - one third of the legendary underground rap group JVC FORCE known for the single Strong Island, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian, Documentarian, Activist, Criminal Justice Advocate and Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale, Sonicnet.com, Launch.com, Rolling Out Newspaper, Daily Challenge Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine, Word Up! Magazine, On The Go Magazine and several others.

2 COMMENTS

  1. It is very disheartening what is going on in Palestine/Gaza, and equally disappointing that not one Black hip hop artist has not voiced their opinion or made a protests song. It took a white rapper Macklemore to address it. Public Enemy, Stetsasonic,X-Clan are iconic hip hop groups that addressed racism, apartheid, and atrocities back in the day. Sadly we don’t have artists like them anymore. Everyone is afraid of their “Brand” and “Cancel Culture” to be today’s voice. They rather be distracted by beef between two artists to speak out crimes against humanity. Smh

    • Thank you for your feedback my brother. And while competition and battled rhymes has always been a long tradition in Hip-Hop From the beginning, we also had groups you mentioned and more discussion and speaking up for the oppressed, doing antiwar and protesting the issues locally, nationally, globally and socially. Then we had the light hearted and even comically and lighthearted or party songs by Biz, Kid N Play, Will Smith and others, but there was a balance to choose from. You received a balance diet in your music We even had knowledge of self and 5% teachings. The problem is when the balance is gone and it’s all one thing. Corporations have co-oped our culture in the name of capitalism. Dumbing down the culture to strip it of its true power, causs they know how empowering it can be. Everyone is afraid to speak up even our leaders and politicians taking major campaign donations from these corporations. So now we are left with mostly rachetness, gutter, gangsta and oversexualized lyrics. When someone tries to speak up they are shut down and do not receive the promotion to get their voices to a larger audience, I highlighted this video because for someone like Macklemore with his status and celebrity to unapologetically address this issue without fear it’s to be admired and celebrated and I only hope will inspire others to step up

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