/ 12 May 2024

Macklemore rages against Israel’s Gaza genocide


Grammy-winning rapper Macklemore this week became the first high-profile artist to not only speak out against Israel’s war on Gaza but also release a powerful song.

Titled Hind’s Hall, in it he calls for a ceasefire and expresses support for pro-Palestine student protests.

The urgent-sounding, hook-laden song, which calls Israel an apartheid state, is named after Columbia University’s Hamilton Hall, which occupying students recently renamed to commemorate six-year-old Hind Rajab, who was killed by Israeli forces in Gaza. 

Macklemore will donate all streaming proceeds from Hind’s Hall, released on Monday, to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.

In two minutes 49 seconds, the rapper manages to take on the anti-Zionism-equals-antisemitism trope (“I’ve seen Jewish brothers and sister out there and ridin’ in/ Solidarity and screamin’ ‘Free Palestine’ with them”); calls out the police brutality against protesting students and takes a swipe at US President Joe Biden for his support of Israel’s erasure of Gaza: “The blood is on your hands, Biden, we can see it all/ And fuck no, I’m not votin’ for you in the fall.”

In addition, Macklemore comments on the tedious ongoing beef between fellow rappers Drake and Kendrick Lamar that has preoccupied the hip-hop world: “I want a ceasefire, fuck a response from Drake/ What you willin’ to risk?”

The song is reminiscent of anti-Vietnam War protest music from the 1960s. However, the difference is that most prominent artists of today have remained silent on Israel’s war on Gaza. 

The Macklemore song has gone viral on social media. On X, the academic Cornell West posted: “I salute my brother, Macklemore, using his powerful artistry to tell some painful truths!” Tom Morello, of 1990s political punk-rock band Rage Against The Machine and Bruce Springsteen’s current guitarist, responded: “Honestly, Macklemore’s Hind’s Hall is the most Rage Against The Machine song since Rage Against The Machine.”