While an underground gay hip-hop movement has been thriving for years, the genre has embraced gay rights more in the past month than in its prior 35 years. Frank Ocean's admission of once being in love with a man has not only led groups like Slaughterhouse to be "amazed that this is even a question," but has spurred straight rappers to pen songs of support. Last week, Murs delivered an on-screen same-sex kiss in his video for "Animal Style," the story of two gay high schoolers. Now, Seattle group Macklemore & Ryan Lewis have thrown in their support with new track "Same Love," recorded as part of their partnership with Music For Marriage Equality.
"It's the same hate that caused wars from religion/Gender to skin color/The complexion of your pigment," rhymes Macklemore. "The same fight that led people to walk-outs and sit-ins/It's human rights for everybody/There is no difference."
In a statement, the rapper explained his decision to record and release the track. "Unfortunately, intolerance of the gay community in hip hop is widespread," said Macklemore. "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.
"The consequence and impact of what we say, and the culture of shame and abuse it creates, has very real, sometimes deadly impacts upon LGBTQ young people looking for acceptance and belonging. As somebody that believes in equal rights for all humans, you can only watch poison regurgitated for so long."
For the rapper, the fight is semi-personal, having grown up among two gay uncles (pictured on the album art above) in the Catholic Church, which he felt "became a platform for hate and prejudice."
"Same Love" will be used by Music for Marriage Equality as a rallying cry to draw support for Referendum 74, the public vote to be held November 7 that, if passed, would legalize same-sex marriage. Listen to the track below.