Macklemore - HIND’S HALL
Macklemore - HIND’S HALL - Free Palestine Song (Image credit: @Macklemore on Instagram)

Macklemore, the 40-year-old American rapper, took the internet by storm following the release of his latest protest anthem, Hind’s Hall, on Monday (May 6 2024).

Its title pays homage to Columbia University’s Hamilton Hall in honour of a six-year-old Palestinian girl, Hind Rajab, a young victim of the Gaza conflict.

Macklemore announced on Instagram that revenue/earnings from the streaming services’ uploads of his song will go towards supporting UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.

The video shows protest footage and various scenes of destruction in Gaza, highlighting the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas. One point raised in the lyric is how the music industry has gone ‘silent’ over the destruction in Gaza with Macklemore saying “the music industry is quietly complicit in their platform of silence.”

He also questions, “what happened to the artists, what do you got to say,” in the music video, speaking on the current state of the music industry, which has remained quiet regarding conflict.

The song recalls times when the music industry has been vocal about societal issues and conflicts. American artists such as Pete Seeger, Paul Robeson, and hip-hop group N.W.A., exemplified this type of musical activism in response to topics such as the Vietnam war, police brutality and global civil rights.

The Nation magazine also mentions that “Most of Hollywood has kept quiet. I know artists and athletes who want to speak up for Palestine but are correctly concerned that they would be putting their careers in danger.”

Artists like Olly Alexander, a British Eurovision competitor, have rejected calls to boycott this year’s Eurovision Song Contest due to Israel’s participation. He performed in the semi-finals on Tuesday, despite having previously signed a letter calling for an immediate ceasefire. On the other hand, during the same event, performer Eric Saade was seen wearing a kaffiyeh on his wrist, which can be interpreted as a symbol of Palestinian solidarity.

As of Thursday afternoon, Hind’s Hall was not yet accessible for streaming on Spotify. Nevertheless, the rapper’s Instagram video featuring the song has garnered over 3m likes and 2.5m shares, suggesting there is a public appetite for people wanting these issues to be discussed in public.

Let’s see what the people of Nottingham have to say about this American rapper being vocal about the situation.

Video shot and edited by Cara Wheeldon