Macklemore performs Gaza war protest song Hind’s Hall at New Zealand concert

Grammy-winning American rapper Macklemore performed his new protest track in support of Palestine, called “Hind’s Hall”, for the first time in New Zealand’s Wellington.

The single, a surprise release from the rapper on Tuesday, is inspired by the worldwide student protests against Israel’s war on Gaza and pays tribute to Hind Rajab.

Rajab, 6, was killed by an Israeli strike in Gaza two months ago while she was waiting for rescue trapped in a car with the bodies of her dead relatives.

“I stand here today and every day forward for the rest of my life in solidarity with the people of Palestine, with an open heart, in the belief that our collective liberation is at stake – that we all deserve freedom in this life of ours,” Macklemore said 40 minutes into his two-hour set.

“Yesterday, I put out a song called Hind’s Hall. Can I play it for you guys?” he asked, prompting a thunderous applause from the audience in response.

The red, white and green colours of the Palestinian flag were projected across Wellington’s TSB Arena while a video montage showing student protestors in America interspersed with footage of politicians backing the war played behind him, The Guardian reported.

At the end of the song, Macklemore led the 5,500-strong crowd in chanting “Free, free Palestine”.

In “Hind’s Hall”, Macklemore, whose real name is Benjamin Haggerty, covers everything from American politics, capitalist greed, social media censorship, and white supremacy in less than three minutes.

The title of the song refers to Hamilton Hall, a building at Columbia University that was occupied and renamed by students last week in a tribute to Hind Rajab.

“If students in tents posted on the lawn/Occupying the quad is really against the law/And a reason to call in the police and their squad/Where does genocide land in your definition, huh?” he rapped.

The 40-year-old Grammy winner also takes a swipe at the music industry for prioritising what he appears to deem petty issues, such as the ongoing beef between hip-hop titans Kendrick Lamar and Drake, over Israel’s war on Gaza.

Macklemore also questions the notion that support for Palestine is antisemitic, rapping: “We see the lies in them/Claiming it’s antisemitic to be anti-Zionist/I’ve seen Jewish brothers and sisters out there and riding/in solidarity and screaming Free Palestine with ‘em/Organising, unlearning.”

The artist initially released the song on social media and promised that all proceeds from it on streaming services will go to the UN relief agency Unrwa.

Fans and fellow artists praised Macklemore for taking a stand and called out other artists who have stayed silent.