Macklemore’s 2013 gay rights anthem “Same Love” didn’t hit the heart of the LGBT community. Instead, it stabbed the hearts of a community that has been trying to work for decades to overcome discrimination. The LGBT community was thrown an exploitative, money-making insult by an act who probably never cared about the rights of the LGBT community.
In August of 2013, DeathandTaxes published an article out about why the song was so controversial — and it had nothing to do with conservatives being angry.
“In the wake of Macklemore’s win at the Video Music Awards, openly-gay New York City rapper Le1F took to Twitter to unleash a string of rather hefty accusations at the emcee, implying that Macklemore used his song ‘Same Love’ to try and make money off of the same-sex controversy.”
As Grammy time came around in early 2014, the controversy continued. Gay Twitter lambasted Macklemore for his “gay rights” effort.
“Same Love” is one of the most condescending songs to ever hit the airwaves. We have a straight white boy telling the gay community how he thought he was gay, because he could draw, and that he couldn’t be gay because he is good at little league.
Then, Macklemore did something unforgivable — well, at least to older gay men. He used Madonna, a woman who fought for gay rights in the 1980s and 1990s when the LGBT community was treated less than kindly, in his performance of the song at the 2014 Grammy Awards. It is known as one of her worst performances to date and, unfortunately, made people think Madonna was also exploiting the gay community without understanding her history with the gay community.
Madonna survived, but that’s hard to say about Macklemore, who has became a joke ever since he won his Grammy Awards that year. Many thought Kendrick Lamar deserved the Grammys instead. Macklemore has been accused of exploiting the Hip Hop community even before the 2014 Grammy Awards, which produced a massive backlash.
Macklemore has a new album coming out on February 26 called This Unruly Mess I’ve Made. Perhaps, since his popularity has decreased, he has released a new song called “White Privilege II,” which hypocritically blames Miley Cyrus and Iggy Azalea for cultural appropriation. Macklemore thinks that bashing other artists will help his cause. He is wrong, especially since Miley Cyrus is a legitimate member of the LGBT community and has done something with her power and privilege.
Spencer Kornhaber of the Atlantic says while Macklemore bashing Miley Cyrus and others in his new song may mean well, but it’s also insufferable.
“The fact that his lyrics are so basic, forgoing metaphor or ambiguity or impressionism, certainly accounts for a big part of his wide appeal. But it also accounts for why many other listeners (ahem) feel pandered to, exhausted by, and/or vaguely embarrassed by his songs.”
Kornhaber adds the narrative that Macklemore is trying to convey is more like an op-ed that tells you what exactly to think. Instead, the song’s narrative should require more interpretation to help it stick in our minds. In any case, Macklemore has been fried on Twitter and it not only by Miley Cyrus fans.
Macklemore has yet to respond to the backlash against his song and Miley Cyrus has yet to respond to being part of the song. Based on Macklemore’s past, he’ll probably say that people don’t like the song because they are racist, not because it’s actually a terrible song.
[Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images]