When the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act on June 26 and marriage rights were reinstated to gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer couples throughout California, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ song “Same Love” became the overnight theme music to centuries worth of equal rights struggles finally being destroyed piece by piece, state by state.
While the Seattle-based hip-hop artist first came on the scene for his fun-loving, quirky hit “Thrift Shop,” Macklemore has made his biggest mark through a song that “started a conversation” at a pivotal moment in history. If anything, the experience has humbled the already intrinsically modest musician, who tells his life stories sincerely through his music, and even used a picture of his gay uncle and his uncle’s partner as the cover art for “Same Love.”
“You hope that a song like [“Same Love”] creates a dialog and people start having conversations around the issues,” Macklemore told L.A. pop station AMP (a Radio.com station). “You hope that there’s an awareness around it, that people start to look at their own prejudices and own stereotypes, and maybe, potentially, use of derogatory language. And that’s what you wish. So, in any capacity that that happened it was a success to me. And the fact that it was embraced on the level it has been where we’re on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and I’m talking to CNN now and there’s this real level of ‘Let’s have this conversation. This is an important issue for the world.’ Not just America.”
Macklemore noted that Australia recently just passed same sex marriage before saying, “It’s been something that’s timed with political movements as well. This is an issue that’s at the forefront of civil rights in the world and it’s cool that the song has lined up with that issue.”
He went on to say that his fan base is very diverse in age and that while single-digit youngsters might be turning on the radio and vibing on “Thrift Shop,” they learn about “Same Love” through their love of hip-hop.
Macklemore hopes the right to marry, no matter your sexual preference, will not be an issue for his younger listeners.
“There’s always going to be a level of homophobia and fear that unfortunately surrounds being gay,” he said. “Hopefully in 20 years, we’ll look back and be like ‘Remember in 2013 when that finally passed. I can’t even imagine the fact that gay people can’t get married. What was that like?’”
–Nadia Noir, CBS Radio Los Angeles