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Seattle-Based Hip-Hop Artist Macklemore Backs Washington Marriage Equality Fight: VIDEO


Macklemore, the Seattle-based hip-hop artist born Ben Haggerty, is using his aural talents to support marriage equality in Washington State.

First there's his latest track, the down-tempo, soulful "Same Love," in which he and singer Mary Lambert lament conservative and hip-hop cultures' fostering of homophobia and admonish their reliance on stereotypes that have nothing to do with innate sexuality.

And then there's Macklemore's testimonial for Music for Marriage Equality, a coalition with which Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard and Tegan from Tegan & Sara have worked.

In that video, Macklemore describes how his gay uncles helped open his eyes to equality. "I grew up with two gay uncles on Capitol Hill and i was always around a community of gay people and it's something that, as a hip-hop artist, it's still a taboo issue," he said. "That's still the group of people that it's okay to oppress… That's discouraging and that's something that needs to change."

He also discusses anti-gay attitudes among hip-hop communities in a blog post about "Same Love":

…Intolerance of the gay community in hip hop is widespread. The best rappers will use homophobic language on albums that critics rave about, making hip hop and homophobia inextricably linked. We have sidestepped the issue entirely, become numb to the language that we use, and are increasingly blinded to our own prejudice.
I am not saying that intolerance is exclusive to hip hop. Hip hop culture is a part of American culture, and America can be scared, fearful, and prejudiced against its own. My intent is not to scrutinize or single out hip hop. It happens to be the culture that has profoundly shaped me, and the one I feel most accountable to.

Hip hop is influential to young people, and frames the mindset of the generation that will decide how inclusive and accepting we are.

Listen to "Same Love" and watch Macklemore's video AFTER THE JUMP.

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  1. I'm not a big hip-hop fan but I really like Macklemore's "Same Love" and what he has to say in it. For me it's Mary Lambert's vocals that really make it palatable, but the overall message is a good one.

    Posted by: Caliban | Jul 19, 2012 11:42:12 AM

  2. I do like hip hop and wouldn't really call him hip hop. Nice message, though.

    Posted by: Tim | Jul 19, 2012 12:15:47 PM

  3. Woot! I loved macklemore when I was in high school. I don't listen to him like I should but he's still the most legit rapper in the game.

    Posted by: Solomon | Jul 19, 2012 12:36:02 PM

  4. "Aural talents"?

    Is he a good listener or a great nibbler?

    Posted by: BobN | Jul 19, 2012 1:25:10 PM

  5. Cant stand hip hop. It's pretense music with fake "artists" but I totally commend this guy, and he's not bad to look at either

    Posted by: NYerBellz | Jul 19, 2012 1:33:01 PM

  6. There's no such thing as hip hop "music" it's just noise. Noise from a bunch of entitled, gold chain wearing thugs. I don't believe this guy is one of those people, he seems grounded, and I hope he uses his talents to broaden his appeal in other musical genres. Hip hop will make a caricature out of him (think Eminem) if he sticks around it too long.

    Posted by: Red Velvet | Jul 19, 2012 1:36:07 PM

  7. I always bust out laughing when rappers are called artists. No disrespect to this cat, as he seems less hip-hop and more soul, but rappers are no artists, unless you consider shouting, complaining about the same melodramatic things, strippers in strip clubs laced with a crap load of vilgarity "artistic"
    It's not. Never will be.

    Posted by: Dynex | Jul 19, 2012 1:38:27 PM

  8. I'm also not a fan of hip hop due to what it represents (sexism, violence, lack of class and most of all..homophobia) but I definitely applaud this artist for speaking out for what is right and wish him all the best

    Posted by: IonMusic | Jul 19, 2012 2:18:22 PM

  9. Christ. As I said before I'm not a big Hip-hop or Rap fan, though there has been the occasional song I liked. Yes, some of it is homophobic, misogynist, and glorifies violence and crime. But not all of it does and some rap works as spoken-word poetry, capable of sharp word-play that expresses real life experiences and meaningful ideas. Layered with music and singing (as Mary Lambert does here) even a non-fan like me can enjoy some of it.

    Dismissing an entire musical genre out of hand doesn't make you an aesthete with superior taste, just someone unwilling to try the unfamiliar, no different than someone who won't try unfamiliar food.

    Posted by: Caliban | Jul 19, 2012 2:23:25 PM

  10. Can we take a break from bashing a musical genre (that is significantly more diverse than most people give it credit for) and give this guy some credit for speaking up for the issue?

    Posted by: James | Jul 20, 2012 12:32:24 AM

  11. Haters, haters... They are everywhere these days. Pathetic know-it-all's.

    Great song, great message, awesome guy. Period.

    Posted by: DeeperStill | Jul 20, 2012 4:47:07 AM

  12. A lot of haters here... thats ok though... Just be real people and the heck with the rest of the hype...

    Posted by: Swizzle Man | Jul 23, 2012 12:39:06 AM

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