By Charles Meyers
One of the biggest problems many people have with rap and hip-hop music is that they believe the lyrics are ignorant. As an avid rap listener I disagree. If you listen, you will hear art in rap, just like you would in any other genre. Over the summer, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis released a song called “Same Love.” To me, this song is one of the most important of our generation within its genre. The song explains Macklemore’s support for equal marriage rights and the gay community. He even raps, “a certificate on paper isn’t gonna solve it all, but it’s a damn good place to start.” Macklemore recognizes the that the issue is more than just the lack of support for same-sex marriage. It is the perception of homosexuality as a problem.
Macklemore says that, “if I was gay, I would think hip-hop hates me” because he knows that the word, “gay is synonymous with the lesser.” He then goes on to talk about how hypocritical it is that this problem has been addressed by neither hip-hop nor America. The hip-hop culture, music and America were founded as a reaction to people being oppressed. Yet right now a minority group is being oppressed and both hip-hop and American culture are numb to it.
The song attacks religious groups with anti-gay sentiments. He says that church taught him that, “if you preach hate at the service, those words aren’t anointed and that holy water that you soak in has been poisoned.” Macklemore even says that the statement, “God loves all His children,” is now “somehow forgotten.”
Macklemore has made the first step towards something amazing, shifting the discussion of homosexuality within the rap community and fighting against the anti-gay sentiment that is currently held by many. Mackelmore may not be a part of the gay community, but he is a true supporter of the fight towards equality. His two uncles are gay and he will not stop until they are given the equality that they deserve. Listen to the song or watch the music video.
The age when ‘“gay” is an acceptable insult or even an insult at all, is ending. It has taken too long for hip-hop to realize that its language is hurting the gay movement, but the realization is slowly spreading. It all starts with a song, a YouTube video, or a share on a Facebook wall, but today that is all it takes. The video on YouTube already has over 5.5 million views. Even if you don’t like rap or support gay marriage, listen to it—your opinion of the genre and of homosexual rights may just change. As Macklemore, Ryan Lewis and Mary Lambert say, “I might not be the same, but that’s not important, no freedom ‘til we’re equal, damn right I support it.”