Macklemore: Music Industry
Macklemore, singer and songwriter, in his song “Same Love” focuses on the issues of discrimination based on sexuality, gay rights, and marriage equality. Macklemore’s purpose is to create awareness for pro-gay marriage and religious discrimination in order to get people to realize that these people are no different than us, and that we should accept everyone for who they are. He uses pathos rhetoric for his listeners to feel a connection to what they are ultimately listening to. He presents his message successfully by strongly using different stereotypes and slurs that people use towards homosexuals. In “Same Love”, Macklemore Talks about those stereotypes and slurs and speaks on how as a community we need to move on and refrain from using these words. As a result of Macklemore’s impact on pop and rap culture, teens and adults alike have taken notice to the rhetorical approach he took within this song. Macklemore did a tremendous job relaying his message. Within “Same Love”, Macklemore examines society’s faulty logic towards homosexuality, using degrading remarks in rap music, and how society looks at sexual equality.
“Same Love” opens up with Macklemore raping, “When I was in the third grade, I thought that I was gay, cause I could draw, my uncle was, and I kept my room straight.” Macklemore promptly talks about how society has taken on its own perspective on the meaning of being “gay”. A majority of humans today have a notion that specific daily actions can be seen or considered to be “gay” or “straight”, this way of thinking within humans today is wrong. Macklemore communicates his intended message effectively, in the music video he shows a homosexual man, playing football with his friends, an activity that is thought of to be something that “straight” kids do. This causes us to further think about how we label certain activities, it also allows people to realize there is no one idea or activity that is “gay” or “straight”.
“Same Love” speaks on the most inaccurate theory that people have towards homosexuality, the idea that homosexuality is a choice and can be changed or “fixed”. First, homosexuality is not a choice and cannot be “fixed”, nor does it need to be. He further conveys his message through an and catchy upbeat chorus where Mary Lambert sings, “And I can’t change, even if I tried, even if I wanted to…” This seizes the listener’s attention because the change of voice from Macklemore’s to hers forces the listener pay attention to what she is saying and recognize that homosexuals do not have a choice of who they love, they are who they are. Macklemore vocalizes that the center of most of the hate towards gay marriage derives from many of our societies and religion, that believe that homosexuality is a sin and should to be fixed. Macklemore’s logic is exemplified when he says, “And God loves all His children is somehow forgotten, but we paraphrase a book written thirty-five hundred years ago, I don’t know.” Macklemore is attempting to convey that people of religion use certain bits and pieces from the Bible to further justify their hate towards homosexuals. Macklemore’s communication of the truth of homosexuality proceeds when he addresses the issues within the rap industry.
In an interview with Anderson Cooper in 2011, main stream rapper Eminem was asked about a controversial song lyric of his in which he is heard saying that he hates “faggots”. His reasoning behind this outrageous lyric was that he grew up in a society in which that word was so commonly used that he does not associate it as a derogatory word referring to homosexuals. Macklemore opens up the second verse by saying, “If I was gay, I would think hip-hop hates me,” The offensive expressions in modern day rap music, spawns a culture of hate among our youth whether or not we recognize it ourselves. Macklemore exhibits this through his popularity that rap music does not need to include homosexual slurs in order to become popular or to produce a hit song. Macklemore’s message does not fully communicate to the audience until he says, “A word routed in hate yet our genre still ignores it, gay is synonymous with the lesser, it’s the same hate that’s caused wars from religion, gender and skin color, complexion of your pigment.” As Macklemore words are spoken the video provides visuals of bombings and picketing during Martin Luther King Jr.’s speeches of racial inequality. By showing the visuals of these terrible events and then relating the hate from the terms ‘gay’ and ‘faggot’ to them it effectively shows us that the words that we use in today’s culture may be more hurtful to others than we think and that we should reconsider how we act and speak. Macklemore’s discourse about the immorality of hateful speech would be pointless if he had no further motive behind it.
In the concluding lines of the song Macklemore preaches, “No law’s gonna change us, we have to change us, whatever god you believe in we come from the same one” He’s heard trying to convey that progress towards same love for all who are different should come from us, and not from the government. The entire song shows the life of a young man growing up with the battle to discover his true sexual identity, all the questions he had in regards to his sexual orientation and eventually all the good that came to his life when he was accepted in his community. Bringing positive change to one’s life makes people feel good about themselves, and this song teaches us how to accomplish that. On their YouTube video Macklemore captions the video by writing, “We support civil rights, and hope WA State voters will APPROVE REF 74 and legalize marriage equality.” In the hopes that after watching the video people’s views towards homosexuality will have changed for the better and now will want to help make a change for others. After seeing the video, I know that I visited the website and I’m sure many other have too, hopefully resulting in a large amount of donations. The music video for “Same Love” had a tremendous amount of positive feedback throughout the Internet and social media. Celebrities from Tim Weber to Rihanna to Lady Gaga were seen promoting this video and attempting to help spread this message to the youth across the country. Macklemore’s musical talent and his influence among the youth helped bring a social cause that had been avoided for many years, and helped bring it to the forefront, and with the success of the video and the song, helped bring light on to the homosexuality.
There is nothing wrong with being a homosexual in today’s society. For the most part, the majority of society accepts the people who do open up to being gay, but yet the homosexual culture is still frowned upon in many different cultures. Many of us who claim to be, and likely are, accepting of homosexuality, still use terms like “gay” and “faggot” by means to insult one another. We are all influenced by happens around us, and when the musicians we listen to are using words like “faggot” and “dyke”, it embeds these hateful terms into our own vocabularies.
Macklemore’s “Same Love” effectively shows the real hate behind these words and phrases. The use of these slurs needs to be eliminated from our daily vocabularies and Macklemore’s recent rise to popularity shows easily that can be accomplished. He shows that one does not need to use homophobic slurs, or derogatory words in order to become popular or fit in. The ending message the Macklemore leave us with is that society as whole cannot change their views of the homosexual community until we take action to change individually. Take a second and think about the reasons. Is it to try and be cool? Is it to try and make ourselves feel better? Whatever the reasons are, it needs to stop immediately for people are hurt by these words on a daily basis. As a society we should focus on moving forward together and observing that all love, is the same love
- EminemFanpage2010. “Eminem – 60 Minutes Interview.” YouTube, YouTube, 19 Nov. 2010, www.youtube.com/watch?v=zN-IUshYZNY.
- LLC, Macklemore. “MACKLEMORE & RYAN LEWIS – SAME LOVE Feat. MARY LAMBERT (OFFICIAL VIDEO).” YouTube, YouTube, 2 Oct. 2012, www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlVBg7_08n0.
- “Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (Ft. Mary Lambert) – Same Love.” Genius, 18 July 2012, genius.com/Macklemore-and-ryan-lewis-same-love-lyrics.