‘Same Love’, released in 2012, produced by Macklemore, Ryan Lewis and Mary Lambert is a song that touches on the subjects of, not only marriage inequality, but the way in which the words ‘gay’ and ‘faggot’ are used in the hip-hop and rap industry in a negative context (2013). In an interview with Matheson, Macklemore states that “Ryan and I would say ‘that’s gay’ because it’s so embedded in our culture” (Matheson 2013).
Macklemore, with writing and releasing the song, wanted put an end to with the way in which these derogative terms are used in the hip-hop industry. Lambert also contributed to the lyrics, with writing the chorus. Lambert discusses the lengths to which she wrote the chorus, and the meaning behind the lyrics, as she states that “she grew up aware that she was gay, and feeling sorrowful for her inability to change” (Zollo 2014).
Macklemore has the social status within society to have a great influence on the way in which citizens view particularly controversial topics, as he is a well known hip-hop artist. Matheson states that, Macklemore is also seen as, in many eyes, including those of Ellen Degeneres, the only hip-hop artist to shine light on the issues of marriage inequality and homosexuality (2013). The social status of Macklemore, combined with Lamberts’ personal experience of growing up in a society where her sexual orientation was shunned, provides a degree of qualification to discuss such a controversial topic in the public sphere.
This song is directed at all members of society, in particular those who are against marriage inequality, and those that believe homosexuality is a ‘choice’ and attempts to persuade these audiences to become accepting of those that have a different sexual orientation to their own. This song is also directed at those within the hip-hop and rap industry, and attempts to persuade these audiences to stop using words, such as, ‘gay’, in a derogative way. Being such a controversial topic, the song is likely to remain controversial within the public sphere, however, it is expected that the lyrics will be assessed by members of the public sphere, and hopefully persuade them to think in a positive light and change their views on the issues discussed.
The opinion of the song is very clear, as Macklemore and Lambert are both pro-marriage equality, and attempt to eliminate using the terms ‘gay’ and ‘faggot’ in a derogative way, and “make people second guess their language” (Matheson 2013). The opposing position on the controversial topic of homosexuality is also discussed in the lyrics of the song, and is shifted to be seen in a negative light, for example “the right wing conservatives think it’s a decision, and you can be cured with some treatment and religion”.
The style and context of the song itself is also highly controversial and shocking to the audience, as generally these types of issues are not discussed positively in the hip-hop or rap industry. The use of rap in discussing serious issues, such as marriage inequality, can be used as a different approach to tackle the issue, and shine a new perspective on the topic.
Overall, the song itself is a positive form of expression, used in a controversial way to tackle the very serious issues of marriage inequality and the way in which terms such as ‘gay’ and ‘faggot’ are used in the hip-hop and rap industry in a negative context. Macklemore and Lambert attempt, and hopefully succeeded in creating a new way of discussing these issues, and in changing the perspective of their audience.
Matheson, J 2013, Macklemore: Why I wrote Same Love, SameSame.com.au, viewed 17 April 2015, <http://www.samesame.com.au/features/9365/Macklemore-Why-I-wrote-Same-Love>.
Zollo, P 2014, Mary Lambert On Writing “Same Love” With Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, American Songwriter, viewed 17 April 2015, <http://www.americansongwriter.com/2014/01/songwriter-u-mary-lambert-on-writing-same-love-with-macklemore-ryan-lewis/>.