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Mackelmore says that race plays a huge part in why he and Ryan Lewis are thriving in the hip hop game right now.

After taking over the charts for the past year, Macklemore was featured in a “Rolling Stone” cover story where he addresses being a white artist in a genre mostly ruled by black rappers.

“You have to acknowledge where the art came from, where it is today, how you’re benefiting from it,” he explained. “At the very least, just bringing up those points and acknowledging that, yes, I understand my privilege, I understand how it works for me in society, and how it works for me in 2013 with the success that (our album) ‘The Heist’ has had.”

Of course, the goal is to make “great albums” but Macklemore feels fame isn’t as sporadic as it seems.

“I do think a song like ‘Thrift Shop’ was safe enough for the kids,” he continued. “It was like, ‘This is music that my mom likes and that I can like as a teenager,’ and even though I’m cussing my a– off in the song, the fact that I’m a white guy, parents feel safe. They let their six-year-olds listen to it. I mean it’s just…it’s different. And would that success have been the same if I would have been a black dude? I think the answer is no.”

With songs like “White Priviledge,” Macklemore has addressed prejudice on wax along with artists like J. Cole who dropped “Crooked Smile” and rhymes, “if my skin pale, would I then sell like Eminem or Adele?”

Whether its stems from race, talent or the combination of both, Macklemore has been able to sell. “Thrift Shop” went double platinum and topped Billboard’s Hot 100, as did their second single, “Can’t Hold Us.” Similarly, “The Heist” debuted at No. 2 on the album charts last October.

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Macklemore Says He Wouldn’t Be As Succesful in Music if He Was Black  was originally published on