Seattle-based hip-hop artist Macklemore urges support of same-sex marriage and criticizes the homophobic music industry with the release of his latest song.
The single “Same Love” begins with Macklemore’s candid reflection on his third grade fear of being homosexual.
He raps about a young Ben Haggerty who had gay uncles, could draw and kept his room clean.
Did that mean he was gay too? His mom reassures him, “Ben you’ve loved girls since before pre-K.”
“The right-wing conservatives think it’s a decision, and you can be cured with some treatment and religion,” he says.
Macklemore challenges religious hypocrisy, mainstream hip hop, and bullying in schools with his song.
He wrote “Same Love” earlier this year, acknowledging “it was not easy to write, and I struggled with how I, as a straight male, could genuinely speak upon this issue.”
Macklemore says he’s been too comfortable remaining silent on this issue of same-sex marriage, which is the civil rights issue for our time.
“It’s an issue that people still call people the ‘f-word’ and say that ‘that’s gay’ and use that as a derogatory term. That is crazy to me, that that’s okay for some reason,” he says. “That is the one group of people that it’s still okay to oppress on a daily basis, in raps, and no one really talks about it.”
If straight people don’t speak about the “injustice” toward homosexuals out of fear about how they may be perceived then they are just as much a part of the problem as those who bash gay people.
He wants the song to bring conversations about same sex marriage and civil rights for gays and lesbians to the surface.
“My hope is that my personal testimony can help in some way to not only advance the dialogue and approve Referendum 74, but also to help shape a culture of belonging in which all people are equal,” says Macklemore.
“It’s right that gay and lesbian people can join in union and be together for life and have the same type of benefits that we as straight people get from being married and forming that union.”
Listen to the song produced by Ryan Lewis, featuring Mary Lambert below:
“Same Love” will be released as a single July 31 on sub Pop Records, with proceeds supporting Music for Marriage for Equality. Macklemore’s tour begins in October, starting with the WaMu Theater on October 12.
By LINDA THOMAS
Macklemore performs at Soundset 2012 in Shakopee, Minnesota wearing a “Legalize Gay Marriage” t-shirt. Photo by Mark Vancleave.