Perhaps one of the most socially conscious and aware songs of the last 5 years, “Same Love” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis is a powerful lyrical statement. The beautifully written verses address some of our culture’s biggest stereotypes in such a vulnerable and honest way.
Macklemore begins the song with an open and vulnerable confession, “When I was in the 3rd grade I thought that I was gay Cause I could draw” only to be convinced by his own mother that he was interested in women. If only we could think as openly as young children who have yet to be influenced by social norms and pressures of society to fit in categorically amongst the greater population in areas such as a definitive race, gender and sexual preference. The key to his message here is that these are what we are, but not who we are. Who we are as individuals is greater then the sum of all of our individual parts.
The second verse addresses sexuality and the role it plays within the culture of hip hop music. “If I was gay, I would think hip-hop hates me. Have you read the YouTube comments lately, “Man that’s gay” sings Macklemore. We saw a huge breakthrough late last Summer with Frank Ocean’s open letter to his fans about his sexuality in perhaps one of the most inspiring and brave gestures in the history of hip hop. It sparked a global conversation about hip hop culture and its emphasis on heterosexual, misogynistic heros. How quickly things changed for Frank Ocean following his “coming out” online, particularly on music videos and blogs.
While each and every one of us is entitled to their opinion, beliefs and invited to share their voice it is certainly important to think before we speak and say what we mean. YouTube has become a bashing ground to rip artists and individuals a part and particular comments like “Man, that’s gay” is quite ignorant. We’re so glad Macklemore brought this up because far too often this phrase is used in a demeaning, negative light and couldn’t be further from what the commenter actually means. Words can be weapons is the message we gathered from this verse – use them wisely.
We’re so proud and impressed with how respectfully Macklemore and Ryan Lewis are using this privileged position as relevant artists. The speak about true life and still manage to keep fans interested in the greater message in addition to their beautiful music.