When my brother first turned up the radio and told me to pay attention to Macklemore’s “Same Love,” I nodded my head along to the rhythm of the song until it finally hit me. This rapper was actually talking about something besides sex, money, and fame; he was rapping a pro-gay message. These unexpected lyrics have given me my favorite song of the summer, and here’s why you should love it too:
1. An unusual combination.
Even Macklemore is first to admit that rap and pro-gay messages don’t typically mix. “If I was gay, I would think hip-hop hates me. Have you read the YouTube comments lately?” People toss around the word “gay,” regularly, using it with a negative connotation. As “Same Love” says, we’ve been desensitized.
2. It calls us out for stereotyping.
At the beginning of the song, Macklemore talks about a math equation he used to determine whether or not he was gay based on preconceived notions. As a kid, he associated being gay with being able to draw, having a gay relative, and keeping his room neat. He thought he might be gay, just because he had characteristics he associated with being gay. On the other hand, he played little league, part of the “straight stereotype.”
3. The acknowledgement that we can’t change who we are.
In “Same Love’s” chorus, a female singer (Mary Lambert) literally says that she can’t change even if she wanted to. But why would she want to change who she is? She couldn’t, even if she tried.
4. Looking at our history of oppression.
Macklemore raps that hate is behind denying gay marriage. He goes on to say this is the same hate that was behind the oppression of religions and races. We are denying people the right to marry by calling them the lesser.
“A word rooted in hate, yet our genre still ignores it.”
“Same Love” carries a strong, important message in the unexpected form of a rap song. Macklemore has gay uncles, who he believes should have the right to marry just like any other American. In this song, he stands up for his family and what he believes in, putting himself out there to receive public criticism. Controversy and insightful lyrics have definitely made “Same Love” a hit.
“No freedom till we’re equal, damn right I support it”
This article also appeared on the Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rebecca-shinners/macklemores-same-love-the_b_3793275.html