Macklemore is an unlikely rapper: he’s from the Pacific Northwest, he’s white, he’s proud of wearing secondhand clothes. And now he’s famous for his support of gay marriage.
Macklemore’s “Same Love” came out of his frustration with hip-hop’s misogyny and homophobia: “Those are the two acceptable means of oppression in hip-hop culture,” he tells Kurt Andersen. “It’s 2012. There needs to be some accountability. I think that as a society we’re evolving and I think that hip-hop has always been a representation of what’s going on in the world right now.”
Does he think the song — and its viral video — helped sway Washington’s recent referendum upholding gay marriage, Kurt Andersen wonders. “Yes, I do,” he says.
When everyone else
Is more comfortable
Rather than fighting for humans
That have had their rights stolen
I might not be the same
But that's not important
No freedom 'til we're equal
Damn right I support it.
He began writing the song from the perspective of a gay 13-year-old, after his mother sent him an article about the boy’s suicide. “I played it for my producer, Ryan Lewis,” who told him “‘You know what? This is good, but this isn’t your story and you have a story.’” Macklemore has close gay relatives, and comes from an especially liberal corner of Seattle, but “I also come from the Catholic Church and the hip-hop community, which stereotypically are very homophobic communities,” he tells Kurt.
And if supporting gay marriage wasn’t brave enough, Macklemore has a hit right now on pop radio, "Thrift Shop," about shopping for secondhand clothes. “In hip-hop culture we’re constantly being told to buy Louis Vuitton, buy Prada,” he says. “It really stuck out.”
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis' new album is The Heist.
Bonus Track: How Macklemore got his name
When Ben Haggerty was 17, he spent a summer in New York City. He made the trip to study art, but spent more time running around the city dressed in ridiculous thrift shop finds. In costume, he called himself Professor Macklemore, which he’d later shorten to his rap nom de plume.
Video: "Same Love"
Video: "Thrift Shop"
Same Love (feat. Mary Lambert)Artist: Macklemore & Ryan LewisAlbum: The HeistLabel: Macklemore
BomBom (feat. The Teaching)Artist: Macklemore & Ryan LewisAlbum: The HeistLabel: Macklemore
Thrift Shop (feat. Wanz)Artist: Macklemore & Ryan LewisAlbum: The HeistLabel: Macklemore
A Wake (feat. Evan Roman)Artist: Macklemore & Ryan LewisAlbum: The HeistLabel: Macklemore