With “Hind’s Hall,” the rapper is telling artists and other culture workers, “The students are risking it all. Where are you?”

By David Zirin, The Nation

The foremost authority on the revolutionary rock/rap band Rage Against the Machine, their own guitarist Tom Morello, tweeted this. Rage Against the Machine filled stadiums in the 1990s with its brand of radical, political fire. Now Macklemore is carrying the flame.

Macklemore - Hind's Hall

For those who haven’t heard it, “Hind’s Hall”—named after Columbia’s renamed building that students occupied—is a beautiful, incendiary new track about Palestine and the student movement by Seattle rap artist Macklemore. With its panoply of up-to-date reference, the lyrics seem as if they were written immediately before the song dropped. Macklemore raps about the student occupations, violent police staring down peaceful resistance, the silence of the music industry in the face of genocide, the efforts to ban TikTok, the proud Jewish role in this struggle, and the great lie that anti-Zionism and antisemitism are in any way the same thing.

In this track, Macklemore, born Ben Haggerty, recenters the discussion not on the encampments but the reason they exist: the carnage in Gaza. He rhymes, “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.”

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